Friday, November 27, 2009

Pumpkin Flan

I found this recipe in the latest Martha Stewart Living magazine. It's an excerpt from a new cookbook from one of Martha's own, Lucinda Scala Quinn's Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys.

The notes say that "canned pumpkin works perfectly well," but I would lean toward a fresh pumpkin puree, if you can. You can find details of roasting fresh pumpkin in this post.

This flan is amazing! Cath and I LOVED it. Number One said he didn't love it, but who cares! This is going to be a new holiday tradition because I said so. It is delicious, a perfect blend of spices, lighter than pumpkin pie, and the caramelized top was wonderful. Simply delicious.

Pumpkin Flan
Serves 8

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup cooked pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups half-and-half or cream
5 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Put the granulated sugar in a 9-inch cake pan or pie plate, set on the center rack in the oven, and bake until the sugar is caramel colored, 8 to 12 minutes. Swirl to cover the bottom of the pie plate with the caramel.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Stir in pumpkin puree. In a medium bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs and vanilla. Thoroughly blend the egg mixture into the pumpkin puree.

4. Set the pie plate in a large roasting pan, and pour the custard over the caramel. Carefully pour enough hot tap water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the pie plate. Bake until the custard is set, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool and chill in the refrigerator. Run a knife around the outside edge of the flan and invert it onto a rimmed plate. Cut into wedges or scoop and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.


Cathy said...

What is not to love about flan! Yours looks delicious.

Min said...

Thanks! I will probably finish it off for breakfast this morning! He said he liked it, but he didn't LOVE it as Cath and I do. Not that he wouldn't eat it again... ;-)

Anonymous said...

had to use up some milk from a friends farm..yum.. so I substituted 2C of it (has a lovely fat content ) ..smells great, set beautifully, also I used less sugar (1/2 cup brown loosely measeured)
and a little home=made yogurt...cant wait till it cools , nice blog
charlane in nova scotia

Min said...

I bet the flan is fabulous with farm fresh milk! I can't wait to hear how you like it!
Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

I made this last night and I have to say that mine had no sauce like a flan should have. It was very good but it was just a round custard. All other recipes call for making a carmel sauce for the bottom of your flan pan. Well, I was wondering why yours made the sauce and mine didnt. I waited and waited and checked the oven but granulated sugar never made a sauce.

Min said...

Anon, it's been almost a year since I made this, but you caramelize the granulated sugar in the pan before you add the flan mixture, and the caramelized sugar is what makes the caramel "sauce."

Was your oven preheated? It seems like it may have taken longer for my sugar to caramelize...I just can't remember, but I will surely report back after Thanksgiving this year! I do know if your sugar wasn't caramelized before you add the pumpkin mixture, it won't happen.

I'd guess maybe your oven wasn't hot enough, you could increase the temperature (to 375 or 400 tops) but watch it very closely, and maybe wait a bit longer?? The sugar should turn to a rich brown liquid...I really don't know what else to say. Better luck next time! Let me know how it goes if you make this again.

Anonymous said...

Hello again,
Yes my oven was preheated and I left it in for an additional 10 min -- oven was hot enough and I have to say that food network recipes and some other famous peoples recipes do not always come out very well and was wondering if for some reason the "stars" leave out a tidbit of info. I much prefer a recipe from "real people" such as your site. I was surprised to hear that this sugar in oven worked for you so I emailed. It really makes no sense that plain sugar will turn to carmel sauce but now I will email the people at Lucindas website and see if they can tell me. The way I see it ( and I have been cooking for quite a long time and am a very good cook) putting sugar in the oven will never ever make a sauce. It will become browned hardened sugar.

Min said...

Hi there, I must say I haven't had the experience of people leaving info out of recipes.

At any rate, yes, the sugar will become brown as it liquefies, and as it cools it will harden quickly. You can see this better when you caramelize sugar on the stovetop. (have you ever caramelized sugar on the stovetop? It's kind of magical) It is just fine, it will be hard before you add your custard, somehow upon baking it will liquefy and form the "sauce" that is typical of flan. It does happen faster in a pan on the stovetop, but then you'd have the hardening problem in transfering it to the baking pan, which is why they want you to do it in the oven.

All I can say is maybe increase the heat and leave it even longer. Now I'm very curious to see what will happen this year, if it really took a lot longer and by the time I blogged the recipe I had forgotten. I will definitely update this post after Thanksgiving!

Thanks for coming back, I hope we get this figured out for you!

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