Pumpkin Flan… with a Kick!

I recently made a pumpkin flan I fell in love with.  Picture a flan and a pumpkin pie joining forces… dreamy, right?!  Last time I made it, I used both a pie pan and little ramekins; this time, I’m opting for just ramekins.  I think we can all agree that little are just more fun.  Somehow all small things are (puppies, pumpkins, sliders, babies… you get my drift- smaller is cuter).  Plus, it’s a bit more tasty this way… you get more caramel per serving since it doesn’t spread out over a huge pan, but rather stays concentrated in your teeny tiny ramekin.  So it’s caramely, pumpkiny, pie-ish bliss.  :)

I’ve made flan a lot… when I was a kid, my dad would beg me to make it for him.  Naturally, the first few were, shall we say, mediocre (I was ten bear in mind), but I think I’ve finally got it!
If you’ve never had flan, think caramely custard with creamy smooth deliciousness.  What separates flan from other creamy creme brulee and custard type desserts is the caramel sauce…  it’s soooo good.  The flan is baked right in the sauce (upside down) and then is flipped over so the sauce drizzles all over the top of it and smothers it with amazingness.

When torn between making a pumpkin pie or something a little less traditional, flan’s a good route to go.  This flan takes on more of a pumpkin pie texture with all that pumpkin in there, but with no crust.  Keep in mind that with all the pumpkin, the flan won’t be a “normal” jiggly flan texture- it’ll be a bit more thick than your average custard, but still lighter than a pie.  A nice way to change up a classic I think!

My favorite “secret” ingredient, chipotle powder, along with a wee
orange zest boosts this pumpkin flan up with a little zing!
While the zest is just for added flare, it is optional… the chipotle, however, is not.
It’s what makes this oh so good!
Disclaimer: this is not one of my “healthy” posts haha… in an ideal world, I would make the sweetened condensed milk myself and not use any cans whatsoever, but for the sake of time and ease, I made an exception here. Nonetheless, it’s scrumptious. ;)

Fills 10 small ramekins
1 lb pureed pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground chili chipotle
1/8 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup sugar plus
1/4 cup water, for caramel sauce
for garnish, a sprinkle of cinnamon, optional

Important FYI: flan is not quick.  Making it is quick, but it has to refrigerate for at least 6 hours or so, so plan ahead- I always make it the night before and then let it refrigerate over night.  Then when I’m ready for a sweet treat the next day, it’s all ready to go!!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Mix evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and pumpkin together in a blender or food processor
Add all seasonings
Add orange zest…
Blend it all together… set aside
To make caramel sauce, heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat
You can give it a quick stir at the beginning to mix
the sugar and water together, but once smooth, stop stirring completely
Let it come to a light boil and become a golden color
It should take about 8-10 minutes to be ready…
if it starts to get dark sooner, remove it from the heat
Place ramekins dishes (ungreased) in a large deep baking dish (or two if needed)
When caramel sauce is done, immediately scoop sauce into ramekins-
you don’t want to wait too long because the caramel sauce with harden- no bueno
Spoon about 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp of sauce into each ramekin
Then pour pumpkin flan mix into each flan, filling them evenly
Pour warm water into the baking dish, filling it up about half way
(at least an inch of the ramekin dishes should be immersed)
Like cheesecakes, flans like water baths…
Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour, maybe 1 hour 15 minutes, depending on oven
You know they’re done when you insert a knife in the center and it comes out clean
Let cool on a wire rack or cool baking sheet…
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours, or over night
When ready, loosen the sides of the flan with a flat knife or by jiggling it gently, flip over onto a plate (allowing the caramel sauce to drizzle over it), and enjoy!!


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About Me

Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!

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