Pumpkin Flan

Vietnamese food

If the pumpkin pie married caramel custard, their offspring would look like this pumpkin flan as Martha Stewart describes her Pumpkin flan recipe from the book “Mad Hungry” by Lucinda Scala Quinn.

This flan can be steamed in a large double boiler or baked in oven and even better it needs to be chilled out at least 6 hours or overnight.  It is called “La Lechera Pumpkin Flan” when La Lechera sweetened Condensed Milk is used or “Flan de calabaza” if it is made with fresh calabaza.

3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 can (15 ounces-weight)  pure pumpkin or cooked calabaza
1 can (12 ounces-fluid)  evaporated milk
1 can (14 ounces-weight)  sweetened condensed milk
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract.
1/4 tsp salt
One 9 in round cake pan, or glass pie pan
One large roasting pan or large pan with deep side (about 2 inch)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 oF
  2. Heating sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir constantly until sugar melt completely and turn light brown color.  Keep stirring until a few shades lighter than caramel color.  Remove from heat, keep stirring until caramel color.  Carefully pour into a 9-inch round cake pan.   Using pot holder, tilt the pan to cover the bottom completely and partial of the sides.  Keep turning the pan until caramel cool and thick enough to coach the pan evenly.  Set aside. 
  3. In a blender or food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth set aside.  Or whisk eggs in a large bowl, add pumpkin, salt, spices and whisk until blended.  Whisk in  two milks, vanilla extract until smooth.  Pour in the prepared pan and set in a larger  pan  or a roaster.  Fill the larger pan with hot boiling water half way up the side of cake pan.
  4. Bake about 1 hour until the center is almost set and still jiggling when the pan is shaken gently. Remove from hot water and cool on wire rack for 1 hour.  Cover and chill until cold at least 6 hours or overnight in the fridge. 
  5. Running a knife around edges.  Invert a large platter with a lip over the pan.  Hold the platter and pan securely together and quickly invert the pan onto the platter over the sink to avoid caramel spillage.  May need to shake gently to release the flan.  Caramel will pour over and around the flan. Scrape remaining caramel sauce from the pan over flan.  Cut in wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream as desired. 

Whipped Cream (optional)

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powder sugar
Combine cream and sugar in a medium bowl.  Beat with low speed until thicken, and increase speed to high and keep beating until a firm peak form.  Use immediately.  
*Note: 

  •  If using double boiler, steam about 45 minutes.  Keep the water in the base about 1/4-1/3 full and boiling gently.  If the flan start getting puffy because too much heat/steam, lift the lid slightly and release the steam and close it back quickly. 
  • Adjust spices’ amount and kinds as you preferred.  Some recipes used 1 tsp cinnamon or 1.5 tsp pumpkin spice, or a combination of 1/2 tsp cinnamon+1/4 tsp ground ginger+1/4 tsp ground clove, 
  • A pumpkin spice mix from Chef Travis Brust: is a bonus for the season.

               3 Tbs ground Cinnamon

               2 tsp ground Ginger
               2 tsp ground Nutmeg
               1½ tsp ground Clove
               1½ tsp ground Allspice

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