Your overwhelming appreciation for flan inspired me to hunt down a recipe. This pumpkin flan is a wonderful alternative dessert to pie and perfect for those who dislike pie crust. It's delicious by itself or topped with toasted pumpkin seeds. Flan is an excellent choice for the busy holiday season because it has to be made in advance, leaving enough time for it to chill. You'll be able to have dessert crossed off your list. If it sounds delicious then get the recipe,
For caramel and flan
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
5 whole large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 (15-oz.) can solid-pack pumpkin (1 3/4 cups; not pie filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
For spiced pumpkin seeds
1 cup green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (1/4 lb; not toasted)
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne
- Make caramel: 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-qt. heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep-golden caramel.
- 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.
- Make flan: Bring cream and milk to a bare simmer in a 2-qt. heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then remove from heat.
- Whisk together whole eggs, yolk, and remaining cup sugar in a large bowl until combined well, then 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, and stir to combine well.
- Pour custard over caramel in dish, then 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.
- Make spiced pumpkin seeds while flan chills: Toast pumpkin seeds in oil in a 10- to 12-in. heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Toss with salt and cayenne until coated.
- To serve: 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.) Sprinkle flan with spiced pumpkin seeds just before serving.
Make ahead: Flan can be chilled 1 day. Spiced pumpkin seeds keep in an airtight container at room temperature, 3 days.