Monday, December 12, 2011

Flan de Calabaza (Pumpkin Flan)

Flan Oil Painting copyright 2011 Maria Soto Robbins
Flans are a typical Cuban (and Spanish) custard-like dessert that usually include eggs, milk and flavorings.  I'm partial to coconut flan but this time, I thought pumpkin would be a nice change from my usual since I was asked to bring a flan to a Christmas party.
This is what the flan looked like after being inverted from its baking pan.
 And, as it turned out, it was a hit at the gathering we went to on Saturday. It's my own recipe after having tried several different variations, over the years.  Since I was asked for the recipe several times, I thought I'd share. 

Ingredients for caramel:
¾ cup white sugar + 3 tablespoons water for caramel


Ingredients for filling:

4 large eggs
1 can condensed milk
2 cups whole milk

1 can pure pumpkin puree  (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 cup rum (or 1 tablespoon vanilla, if not using rum)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

There’s a two step process in this flan, as in most flans. You need to melt the sugar in order to caramelize it and give your flan that beautiful golden color. A real easy way of doing the caramel is in the microwave (thanks to Linda Cicero):

Combine the sugar (3/4 cup) and 3 tablespoons water in a 6 cup glass measuring cup.
Cover tightly with microwavable plastic and cook on high for 4-5 minutes, until the syrup turns deep amber (the longer it cooks, the darker it’ll be). If sugar is still white after 5 minutes, add 20 seconds at a time till you reach the right golden color. Don’t overcook since you don’t want to burn it!
Uncover carefully and pour the caramel into the flan mold you’ll be using. Swish it around until the pan until it is all covered with the caramel. Wear gloves and be careful!
Put all the ingredients, for the filling, mentioned above into a blender (or food processor) and process for about 3 minutes. I did it in the blender in 2 batches since it was too much liquid. Then I poured it into a big mixing bowl and whisked it gently together.  

Carefully pour into your flan pan (a 2 liter glass Pyrex is good) that has been covered with the caramel.

Put the uncovered pan in a bain-marie (also known as a water bath/baƱo de Maria) in your oven for one hour at 350 degrees. After one hour, insert a knife or toothpick in the center and make sure it comes out clean before you remove from the oven.

Refrigerate overnight. Once it’s thoroughly set, carefully place a serving plate on top and gently flip it over. You will have a gorgeous, delicious flan that is pretty easy to make!

Mine cracked in the center after baking, but it doesn't matter because you'll be flipping it over!

After flipping it over, it should look like this:


Kimberly Vanlandingham said...

Wow! I looks yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I'm always looking for something different.

Maria Soto Robbins said...

You're very welcome, Kimberly! I hope you get a chance to try it.