10.10.2009

Pumpkin Flan

There's something about a flan that makes my mouth water- might be the caramelized topping- I'm a real sucker for that. I make a super one called Flan Cubano with, you guessed it, sweetened condensed milk. It's rich, velvet smooth and delicious. The recipe came from a Conch (pronounced konk) friend of mine. (A Conch, for the uninitiated, refers to anyone born and raised in the Florida Keys.) Conchs just love their sweetened condensed milk- let's face it, that's where real key lime pies were invented!

But for Thanksgiving, you gotta have pumpkin something or there will be an uprising so I turn to my pumpkin flan. I like it for two reasons: the gooey caramelized coating and the fact  there's no crust involved. Piecrusts are not exactly my forte... mine're acceptable, but not memorable. After a few mumblings from the more traditional members of my family, they have come to accept this flan as a perfect substitute for pumpkin pie. Same thing really, without the crust.

If you've never caramelized sugar for a flan or a crème caramel, I have only one thing to say: BE CAREFUL! It's hot. If it splatters on you- ouch! I speak from experience. No kids in the kitchen when you're doing this; it requires all your attention. Don't be afraid of it (if I can do it, anyone can), just be really careful and follow the directions.

This is one of those make-at-least-a-day-ahead desserts- which is something I consider seriously for any holiday but Thanksgiving is an unusually busy kitchen day. At least this dessert means one less thing to think about. And don't worry about flipping it at the last minute because inverting this on a plate will NOT be a disaster. I swear. Overnight the caramel in the pan kind of melts, coating the flan and it releases easily, no problem. (At least I've never had a problem.)

Personally, I like the flan plain but for those who like to gild the lily, I make a cinnamon flavored, sweetened whipped cream- easy enough to do. You might also give some thought to a crème anglaise- the flan would look divine sitting in a pool of that luscious sauce. I usually make this flan in a loaf pan (please ignore the shabbiness of my pan in the photo, it's been around the block, much like its owner) but you really can use any shape you want. I even made it once in a ring mold, much as I detest them. No matter what mold you prefer, use a cake tester to make certain it's done in the middle. I put a paper towel in the pan under the water bath-I think it makes for a silkier flan.

Serves 8-10 depending on how big your slices are.

Pumpkin Flan



Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups sugar
6 eggs
2 cups pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 cups heavy cream

Method:
Combine 2/3 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to boil, shaking the pan lightly and often (don't use a spoon) until it reaches a lovely shade of caramel. Have hot pads ready and pour the caramelized sugar into a loaf pan or ring mold, tilting quickly to cover bottom and sides.  It will harden immediately. And crack. Ignore this.



Beat eggs with remaining 2/3 cup sugar, beat in pumpkin and remaining ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in a water bath 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Test center with a wooden tester to make certain it's done.




Let flan cool on the counter, cover and refrigerate overnight (or longer) before unmolding. When ready to unmold, take a sharp knife and carefully make certain the flan is not sticking to any sides of the pan.



Serve with cinnamon flavored whipped cream, if desired.

36 comments:

  1. wow! i'm impressed! that looks amazing!

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  2. A very original flan! So tempting and delicious looking!

    Cheers,

    rosa

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  3. This flan looks fab, Barbara!! Fantastic even!!

    Wow!!!

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  4. I have never made flan but this looks incredible. I really think I'm gonna give it a try!

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  5. i am so hungry right now, have not had dinner yet and i already love flan, you are driving my tastebuds wild!

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  6. Oh yes! Flan! I love this custard style dessert. We make a traditional flan and your are absolutely right, the condensed milk just brings it to a new level.
    This pumpkin flan looks really good! A really good twist on a holiday dessert.

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  7. Oh, YUM! This looks fabulous. I never liked custards as a child--too eggy for my taste. Then one day my taste buds had a coup d'etat or something and the new regime LOVED all things custardy. I confess I NEVER thought of a pumpkin flan. Brava! This will be on our table soon. I'll let you know how it turns out!

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  8. Everything you make I want to inhale.

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  9. Barbara!!!!thanks for your "Drive by"!!!! enjoyed having you...as led me to this great "Foodie" blog!..I so enjoy you food girls...( think I am one at heart)! The Flan, pumpkin no less!, looks great! Love the taste of a flan, never have had pumpkin though...and that is why I enjoy you so...always something new to try!...enjoyed peeking around , great blog!, xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

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  10. oh my gosh- this sounds soooooo good! I love anything pumpkin.

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  11. I have never tried flan, but it sure looks delicious!

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  12. I love pumpkin and flan but together that certainly is a winning combo:) Thanks for sharing the recipe and I will make this for my cooking club next month.
    Joyce

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  13. I first had flan in Peru a decade or so ago - so good! I know what you mean about the make-ahead advantage for holidays - I do the same thing. I'll try this; I like the pumpkin twist to the recipe.

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  14. This is a very cool idea. I love it. Sounds like it would be amazing with the cinnamon whipped cream.

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  15. i've never seen a flavored flan. what a unique use for pumpkin, barbara--it puts pie to shame

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  16. I LOVE this! Especially since pie crusts are not-at-all my forte either! And I think it's excellent how this can be made in advance...perfect for Thanksgiving, since there's already so much going on in the kitchen on that day!

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  17. Beautiful color on your caramel. Flans are delicious if prepared correctly, yours looks beautiful!

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  18. The unmolded flan looks beautiful! I have never tried one but I love pumpkin and your recipe sounds wonderful. Thank you!

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  19. Barbara...thanks for stopping by...where in Michigan were you born and raised? I was born in Berkley, raised in Mt. Clemens and now live in Cadillac...Just kept heading North! Have a wonderful day! xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

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  20. Beautiful! I love pumpkin flan. I was thinking of making a persimmon flan later this week!

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  21. A flan with pumpkin looks and sounds fantastic! I would love to try it very soon!

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  22. I adore flan and have never made it with pumpkin - this looks so scrumptious I am going to have to give it a whirl. I know it will make my family happy! And 'tis the season.

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  23. Looks absolutely delicious. I'm a sucker for things with that golden caramel sauce.

    And love things that can be made ahead!

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  24. impressive ;)
    pumpkin, how apt for october!
    you should make more pumpkin goodies for halloween!

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  25. I'm not big on flan, but this one looks absolutely gorgeous and sounds just delicous.

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  26. I love flan! I am sure that pumpkin flan is incredible. I love anything pumpkin. Very festive!

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  27. I've never seen a flan prepared in a loaf pan. It makes for a unique presentation. I'm sure this is as tasty as it is beautiful. This is a very nice recipe. Thanks.

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  28. The cookie stealing bunny loves all cookies.

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  29. Oh! I should try pumpkin next time I make flan...looks yummie and right for the season :-)

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  30. I did see that 101 cookbooks recipe and SO almost made it! I just didn't have enough time :( Looks totally delicious

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  31. What a great looking pumpkin fran! Have never seen anyone make this in a loaf. Save the biggest piece for me, huh, will you? hehe... Thanks.

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  32. I have never had a flan before, but this one just might give me the nudge I need to try it out! Looks and sounds delicious!

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  33. I'll be over for Thanksgiving! What time are you serving? Don't worry I shan't be empty handed I'll bring the drinks. :)

    I want pumpkin flan!
    ~ingrid

    Oh, yeah...what's up with the paper towel trick? Do tell! :)

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  34. This pumpkin flan looks so silky smooth, sweet and delicious! I love it!

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