Halloween Food Day 18: Pumpkin Flan

Flan is one of my absolute favorite desserts.  I worked in several Mexican restaurants over the years, and I’ve eaten an awful lot of flan.  Regular, chocolate, fruit flans, they are all good.  Well, not the chocolate so much.  I don’t like chocolate.

A recipe for pumpkin flan caught my eye while browsing for recipes online and I knew that I’d have to give it a shot.  It tastes like a more mild version of pumpkin pie.  Smooth and creamy, but not quite as pumpkin-y as pie.  The caramelized sugar sauce is time consuming, but quite easy to make.

Adapted slightly from Texas Cooking

•1/2 cup sugar, for the topping

•5 eggs
•3/4 cup sugar
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•1 cup cooked pumpkin
•2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350.  Place a pan in the oven large enough to hold a pie plate.  Fill the pan about 1/3 full of water.

Heat the 1/2 cup sugar over low heat, until it caramelizes and is syrupy.  This will take a long time, but once it starts to melt it will go fast, so keep a good eye on it.  Pour the melted sugar in the bottom of a pie plate and tilt the plate to spread it evenly over the bottom.  It will harden and crack.  It won’t affect the flan.

Mix together the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice.  Pour over the caramelized sugar.  Place the pie plate in the pan with water.  The water should come about halfway up the sides of the pie plate.  Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour.  The middle will be jiggly and spring back when touched gently, like jello.

Cool completely.  Run a knife around the edge of the pie plate and invert flan onto a serving platter.  The caramelized sugar forms a nice sauce that will run down around the sides of the flan.  Refrigerate until serving time.

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