“So many recipes, so little time.” The Thanksgiving holiday has drawn to a close, and I was still thinking about an orange-flavored pumpkin flan that I had planned to try. As much as I enjoy using pumpkin in recipes, my interest peaks during the fall. Once I see the calendar turned to December, the poor pumpkin takes a back seat to Christmas-y ingredients.
When I saw a recipe for “caramelized orange pumpkin flan” in the October issue of Sunset, I thought I had a winner. Reading through the recipe, though, I turned my nose up at some the the ingredients and decided to come up with my own version.
My flan recipe was adapted from one in Anna Thomas’ “The Vegetarian Gourmet” and I have used it for years. There was one remaining can of organic pumpkin pureé that I spiced up and added lots of orange zest to both the caramel and the custard. It turned out to be a nice way to say “See you next fall” to pumpkin.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups white sugar, divided use
- 1 cup organic pumpkin pureé
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- zest of 2 oranges, divided use
- 3 cups half-and-half or whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat the half-and-half or milk in a medium-sized saucepan, just until it simmers. Remove pan from heat and add the vanilla.
3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with 3/4 cup sugar. Beat in the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add the salt and the zest of one orange. Mix well. Slowly add the hot milk, stirring as you pour.
4. Using a heavy-bottomed small saucepan, heat the remaining 1 cup of sugar over medium-high heat. Stir the sugar until it melts into a light brown syrup. Turn off the heat and stir in the zest of the second orange.
5. Working quickly and carefully, pour the zest-infused caramel into a soufflé dish. Tilt the dish so as to coat the bottom and sides with the caramel. It will harden quickly.
6. Pour the custard into the caramel-glazed dish. Set the soufflé dish into a square-sided baking dish. Place this in the oven and fill the square dish with hot water until the water is about halfway up the side of the soufflé dish.
7.Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the flan comes away clean. Remove the soufflé dish from the pan of water and allow to cool on a rack. Chill in fridge for several hours before turning onto a serving dish. Use a knife to loosen the edges of the flan, if needed. Spoon the extra caramel sauce over the flan and serve.