Pumpkin flan combines the creamy, lusciousness of caramel flan with fresh pumpkin for the perfect fall dessert!
1 pound fresh pumpkin to make 1 1/2 cups pumpkin mash ** See note
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
Make the Pumpkin Mash:
If you’re using fresh pumpkin, peel and cut the pumpkin into one-inch chunks. The pumpkin skin is hard to peel, but it’s easier to peel if you cut the pumpkin into strips first. Boil until fork tender and mash, about 15 minutes.
Make the caramel: While the pumpkin is cooking, prepare the caramel.
- Place 1 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan on medium high heat. Cook until sugar melts and has a deep amber color. You can swirl the pan to help the sugar dissolve, but don’t stir it. This should take about 12-14 minutes.
- Pour the caramel into the flan mold and swirl the mold a bit to get it up the sides a little. You need to work fast because the caramel hardens quickly, BUT be very careful not to spill the caramel or to touch the pie plate or cake pan where the caramel will be because it will burn you. I cannot stress this enough. USE MITTENS, THE CARAMEL IS VERY HOT AND CAN BURN YOU.
- If you want to make some caramel decorations, you can heat up 1 1/2 cups of sugar and reserve some of the caramel to make decorations. In that case, pour about 2/3 of caramel in the flan mold. Then use a metal spoon to spoon out some of the caramel into a parchment to create different shapes. You can also pour it over an inverted, greased bowl to create a basket like the one I made. The shapes don’t have to be perfect, they will look great either way!
- You can use different molds for the flan. I used a small, round flan mold. But you can use a pie plate, a regular cake pan or ramekins affiliate link. The size of the mold will impact the baking time.
- Make sure to use a metal spoon for the caramel because the caramel is so hot it will melt a plastic spoon (caramel is serious business!).
Preheat: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Mix: Pour 1 1/2 cups mashed pumpkin, the cans of evaporated and sweetened condensed milk into a blender. Add the five eggs, a teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of salt. Blend on low for about 30 seconds.
- You need to strain the mix to make sure no eggshell or solids end up in your flan. The easier way to do this is to hold a strainer over the flan container and pour the mix over the strainer.
- Your flan container will cook in a water bath. Place your flan container (ramekins, pie plate or cake pan) in a large roasting pan with deep sides and fill the roasting pan with enough water to go halfway up the side of the container.
- For the ramekins, bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. You want the edges to be set and the middle to jiggle just a bit. The top should be a pale gold.
- For the pie plate or cake pan, cook for about 1 hour or until the edges are set and the middle jiggles just a bit.
- The flan mold I used cooked for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, so you need to check it as it cooks.
Chill: Remove the flan from the water bath and let it come to room temperature. Then chill it in the refrigerator overnight. To serve, run a paring knife around the edge to loosen and then invert in a cake plate.
You really need about 13 ounces of pumpkin but the skin adds a bit of weight so you need to buy about a pound of pumpkin.
If you don’t want to make the fresh pumpkin mash, you can use canned pumpkin. Keep in mind that canned pumpkins will make the flan darker in color and the taste will be a bit more like pumpkin pie.
The pan and the flan mold affiliate link will end up with hard caramel stuck to it. To clean it, just soak the pan and the sugar will dissolve. Then it’s a breeze to clean.
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