The brisk cool weather is upon us and pumpkins are over flowing the produce aisles. One of my favorite desserts--and probably one of the first desserts I made--was flan. The cold, silky, and creamy texture; paired with the bittersweet caramel sauce is a winning combo. The ingredients are those that are usually in the fridge and pantry--milk, eggs, cream, and sugar--so there is no going out of your way to make this.
For this recipe I roasted the pumpkin until knife tender. Scooped out the flesh and seeds and then pureed it. It is super simple to do and to me taste way better than the canned variety. When time is short, go ahead and grab a can of your favorite canned pumpkin.
I love this recipe because all of the ingredients can be combined into a blender. Then poured into the caramel glazed ramekins and right into the oven.
One thing that is a must for custard base desserts is a "water bath". Basically you have one baking vessel inside of another baking vessel that has hot water placed in it. You benefit from this method because it applies gentle heat and adds moisture. Have you every baked a cheesecake and cracks developed? The heat and lack of moisture most likely caused this. The water bath helps to create a silky smooth texture as well.
A great way to get rolling on pumpkin season with this wonderfully spiced flan!
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1 pint of heavy cream
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean scraped or 1 of vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine the cup of sugar and water in a heavy medium saucepan. Swirl the pan over the heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and make sure to watch it closely and do not stir. Keep swirling the pan until a deep amber color develops;about 5 to 10 minutes. Have your baking dish ready and divide the caramel into each and coat the side.. Make sure to move quickly, as the caramel will harden up. Place aside into a large baking dish.
- Place the cream, milk, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs, spices, vanilla and salt into a blender. Blend until everything is incorporated. Strain mixer through a strainer and then divide evenly into the prepared ramekins. Pour hot water into the baking dish until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake until flans gently set. You will want a little jiggle or you can temp them to 180 degrees.
- Once done, be careful when lifting the ramekins out of the baking dish. Chill until cold and serve.