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pumpkin-flanBased on Ina Garten’s recipe in Cooking for Jeffrey.

Twenty-two cans to go to complete my “99 Cans of Pumpkin Challenge.” This take on the traditional Spanish dessert uses pumpkin to add flavors of the season. Smooth and silky, a little bit of this rich dessert goes a long way. Ideally, it should be made in a solid round cake pan to keep all of the sauce in tact. Consider using a rectangle baking dish. After baking and cooling flan, flip onto a baking sheet with sides. I used a springform pan, lined with parchment paper, but then decided to use a round biscuit cutter to form individual servings. Scoop some of the sauce onto serving dish and top with flan round. You can also use individual ramekins for baking.

What you need:

  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/3 c local dark amber maple syrup
  • 1/3 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp fleur de sel (French sea salt)
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c mascarpone
  • 5 lg eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

What you do:

  • Add sugar, syrup and cream in small saucepan.
  • Swirl pan to combine ingredients.
  • Cook over med heat without stirring, until sauce thickens and caramelizes. If you have a candy thermometer, it should be at 230⁰. Watch pan carefully to avoid burning.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle the salt over the caramel.
  • Pour an 8-inch cake pan. If you use a springform pan, line with parchment paper.
  • Cool to room temperature.
  • Place in roasting pan large enough to hold cake pan with sides taller than cake pan.
  • Heat oven to 350⁰.
  • In mixer with whisk attachment, mix milks, pumpkin and mascarpone until smooth.
  • Add eggs, one at a time.
  • Add vanilla and spice.
  • Slowly pour custard over the caramel.
  • Add hot water to roasting pan to reach halfway up the cake pan.
  • Bake custard on middle rack until just set, about 75 min. It should still be slightly jiggly in the middle.
  • Remove flan from roasting pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Chill 3-4 hours (or overnight), before serving.
  • To serve, run a sharp knife around flan to release it from the sides of the cake pan (or release springform).
  • Place serving platter upside down on top of flan and using both hands, flip ­serving platter over.
  • Holding both cake pan and platter, gently shake to release flan.