Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pumpkin Flan

I'd been eyeballing this flan recipe for a short while and it is the reason for the ramekin. The original recipe included some seasoned seeds to sprinkle over the finished flan, but who wants crunchy bits on their flan?

One thing I did change out of necessity was the quantity of ground ginger. The original recipe called for 1 teaspoon and I found out during prep that I had about 1/4 teaspoon.

Oh, and since draining the pumpkin puree seems to work well (maybe not so hot in the cheesecake), I'm going to do that for every single recipe going forward. There is just way too much of it to begin with and even cutting the quantities by draining there is still a LOT.

Pumpkin Flan
adapted from Epicurious
click to print

2 c sugar
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1 c whole milk
5 whole large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
15 oz  drained pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Heat soufflé dish in oven while making caramel.

Cook 1 cup sugar in a dry 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt.

This took 47 minutes!

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel.

And this took 38 minutes!

Wearing oven mitts, remove hot dish from oven and immediately pour caramel into dish, tilting it to cover bottom and side. (Leave oven on.) Keep tilting as caramel cools and thickens enough to coat, then let harden.

Bring cream and milk to a bare simmer in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then remove from heat.

Just 7 minutes.

Whisk together whole eggs, yolk, and remaining cup sugar in a large bowl until combined well.

Whisk in pumpkin, vanilla, spices, and salt until combined well.

Add hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking.

Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, scraping with a rubber spatula to force through.

Stir to combine well.

Pour custard over caramel in dish.

Bake in a water bath until flan is golden brown on top and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours.

Remove dish from water bath and transfer to a rack to cool.

Chill flan, covered, until cold, at least 6 hours.

I let mine cool overnight in the microwave (so the cats wouldn't take a stab at it) and then let it chill in the fridge overnight.

Run a thin knife between flan and side of dish to loosen. Shake dish gently from side to side and, when flan moves freely in dish, invert a large platter with a lip over dish. Holding dish and platter securely together, quickly invert and turn out flan onto platter. (Caramel will pour out over and around flan.)

Worked out like a charm, even the plating!

It took almost 2 hours just for the sugar to melt, making the caramel. Criminy. I suppose I should've turned the heat up, but I was so very paranoid about burning the shit out of it. Because I didn't know how much attention it needed, I gave it way too much. That time could've been spent making the custard in tandem. Hence, my time on this recipe is really, really, really long.

I was fairly surprised when I saw how much pumpkin skin was in the puree. Did you notice all those orange bits in the sieve? Go and look. It's crazy. And that reminds me. The most annoying part of making this flan was pushing that custard through the sieve. It took less than 5 minutes but felt like it was taking an eternity. I almost stopped half-way through, calling it good enough. It seems like you're making no progress at all until suddenly you're done. I need to see progress!

I took it to work and it went over well though a few comments were made that pumpkin flan is not better than regular flan. I kinda liked it - it's different! There's still a ton of pumpkin puree left so maybe I'll do this again with the seeds.

  • sugar: $0.39
  • heavy cream: $1.46
  • whole milk: $0.60
  • eggs: $1.82
  • pumpkin puree: free
  • vanilla: $0.18
TOTAL: $3.83 or about $0.48 for each of 8 servings.