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Note:  This delightful Pumpkin Flan has a nice rustic consistency and a wonderful Autumn flavor.  It will keep in the refrigerator (covered) for several days.


For the caramel:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

For the custard:
1 small fresh pumpkin
Olive oil
Pinch of cinnamon
Zest from 1 large or 2 small oranges (Note: I use a microplane zester for this.)
1 1/3 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream

Hot water

You will also need:
Baking sheet
Small saucepan
10-12 small (3″ or 4″) ramekins
Large baking dish (for water bath)
2 medium-large mixing bowl
Roux whisk or large spoon

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

To cook the pumpkin, slice it in half, remove the seeds and the stringy material in the center.   Rub it (inside and out) with olive oil.  Place it cut-side down on the baking sheet and bake it for about 40 minutes until the pumpkin flesh is mushy.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  (As an alternative, you can saute the pumpkin flesh in olive oil until it is mushy.)

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile, place the ramekins into the large baking dish and set aside.

Make the caramel by heating the sugar (3/4 cup) and the water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook it until the mixture turns a golden color, watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Pour the hot caramel carefully into the ramekins, distributing evenly.  Set aside. (This mixture will get hard as it cools so don’t worry when you see that happen.)

Scrape out about 1 1/2 cups of cooked pumpkin and place it into one of the mixing bowls.  Mash it so that most of the lumps are gone.  Add the cinnamon and the orange zest.  Stir and set aside.

In the other mixing bowl, combine the sugar and eggs and beat well by hand to combine.  Add the flour and mix well.  Stir in the cream.

Add the pumpkin mixture to the egg mixture and stir well to combine.  Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins, filling to about 3/4 full.

Add hot water to the baking dish until it comes about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the ramekins, being careful not to get any water into the ramekins.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes until the flan is set.  Remove from the oven and cool for about 5 minutes.  Take a knife and run it around the inside of each ramekin to loosen the flan.  Let the flan cool for about a half hour on the countertop.  Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

To serve, invert the flan into a small dish.  The caramel should flow out of the ramekin to make a delicious sauce.  Serve with a nice garnish of nasturtiums, mint, fruit, candied oranges or something of your choice.

Serves 10-12.

Note:  Contact me if you would like the metric conversions for this recipe.

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