Monday, December 7, 2009

Pumpkin Creme Caramel/Flan

Cream Caramel. Flan. Caramel Custard.
Many names, but one definitive pudding. Creamy milk cooked with eggs and sweetened by a slathering of tart, gooey, caramel sauce. But have fear. There are many ways to go wrong when following other recipes.

  • Burn the caramel. Check.

  • Singe your hand while burning the caramel. Check.

  • Curdle the eggs when adding scalded milk (with propensity to burn hand yet again) and end up with Caramel Scrambled Eggs. Check.
Yes, many reasons to fear this desert, but this simple recipe from our local grocery store (H-E-B, named after founder H.E.Butt - insert your own jokes here) cuts corners by using condensed and evaporated milk and there is no issue with the eggs curdling because there is no heating of the milk like other recipes call for (bravo!). By flavouring the custard with pumpkin and warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, this makes it a perfect make-ahead dessert for the cooler months.

The original recipe calls for more eggs, more spice and less sugar. The changes below reflect my personal taste.

Pumpkin Flan (slightly adapted from H-E-B recipe archive)

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 (12 ounce) cans Evaporated Milk
4 whole eggs, beaten
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
1 heaped tsp pumpkin pie spice (or mixture of powdered cinnamon, allspice, dry ginger and nutmeg)
1/2 cup water

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cook sugar in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and golden in color. Pour caramelized sugar into a casserole dish that is suited for baking. Tilt dish so that caramelized sugar is evenly spread (work quickly as caramel cools quickly and becomes harder to spread); set aside. Caramelized sugar may crackle as it cools.
3. Combine Condensed Milk, Evaporated Milk, eggs, pumpkin, spices and 1/2 cup water in a large bowl: stir well. Pour custard mixture into caramel-coated baking dish and place inside a larger baking dish. Fill outside baking dish halfway with hot water.
4. Bake flan in its water bath on center oven rack for approx. 1 hour. The flan is ready when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Carefully remove from oven and allow to cool.
Serve warm or chilled with whipped cream.

1 comment:

Arlette said...

Looks deliciousA!!!
never attempt to try new recipes with pumpkin... I need to explore more ...
I like to try this when my mom comes for a visit ... she loves creme caramel..

thanks for sharing