Pumpkin Flan

Pumpkin Flan

The Spruce/ Kristina Vanni

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Chill : 3 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 45 mins
Serving: 1 wedge
Yields: 8 wedges
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
2857 Calories
154g Fat
311g Carbs
67g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 2857
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 154g 198%
Saturated Fat 87g 435%
Cholesterol 1169mg 390%
Sodium 1729mg 75%
Total Carbohydrate 311g 113%
Dietary Fiber 8g 27%
Total Sugars 288g
Protein 67g
Vitamin C 19mg 96%
Calcium 1563mg 120%
Iron 9mg 51%
Potassium 2551mg 54%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Similar to crème brûlée, flan is a rich, creamy custard covered in caramel instead of the crisp caramelized sugar topping that creme brulee is known for. Using similar cooking methods to creme brulee, flan is baked with the caramel at the bottom, and when inverted, the golden-colored sauce generously coats the custard, creating a dessert that is also beautiful to look at.

Although there are many recipes for flan, the custard is, in general, made out of a mixture of milk, eggs, sugar, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and spices. Our innovative version incorporates pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and mascarpone, a soft cheese that provides a silky, creamy texture to the flan. The best part is that the custard requires no simmering and is quickly made in the blender. Our maple syrup caramel enhances the autumn flavor profile provided by the pumpkin, and a few pepitas over the top make a beautiful presentation.

The key for cooking flan is the use of a bain-marie, a water bath that creates gentle and steady heat around the pan, resulting in a smooth and even texture. Keep in mind that the time to remove the flan from the oven is when there is still a slight jiggle in the center. If overcooked, flan has a rubbery, unpleasant texture. Make this flan with enough time to chill it in the fridge for at least three hours.

Ingredients

For the Caramel:

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1/3 cup water

For the Pumpkin Custard:

  • 1 14-ounce can condensed milk

  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

  • Pumpkin seeds, garnish

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this flan is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Caramel

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Pumpkin Flan

    The Spruce

  2. Combine the sugar, maple syrup, and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, swirling the saucepan to dissolve the sugar. Do not stir. Cook at a low boil, without stirring, until the mixture turns a golden-brown hue and registers 230 F on a candy thermometer. Test the caramel for a thread shape if you don't have a candy thermometer.

    Pumpkin Flan

    The Spruce

  3. Pour caramel immediately into a 9-inch round cake pan with tall sides. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes while you make the custard.

    Pumpkin Flan

    The Spruce

Make the Flan

  1. Combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, pumpkin puree, mascarpone cheese, eggs, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice in a blender. Blend until smooth and well combined.

    Pumpkin Flan

    The Spruce

  2. Gently pour the pumpkin mixture into the pan with the maple caramel.

    Pumpkin Flan

    The Spruce

  3. Place the cake pan inside a large roasting pan with high sides. Fill the roasting pan with hot tap water until it comes halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes or until the custard is just set and still jiggles slightly in the middle.

    Pumpkin Flan

    The Spruce

  4. Carefully remove the flan from the water bath and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

    Pumpkin Flan

    The Spruce

  5. Once cooled, cover the flan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

    Pumpkin Flan

    The Spruce

  6. When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the cake pan to loosen. Invert flan onto a rimmed serving plate, allowing the flan to drop out and the maple caramel sauce to flow over the custard.

    Pumpkin Flan

    The Spruce

  7. Garnish with pumpkin seeds. Cut into wedges to serve.

    Pumpkin Flan

    The Spruce

  8. Enjoy!

For Best Results

  • To ensure the custard does not overcook, check for doneness after 65 minutes, and then every 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Because the flan is made in a cake pan and not removed until it's time to eat, flan travels well in an ice chest. This makes it an excellent choice if you need to take it elsewhere. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap while en route and un-mold when ready to serve.