Pumpkin Flan

November  7, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves Around 8 +
Author Notes

This twist on Thanksgiving pumpkin desserts is based on a traditional French Creme Caramel. This recipe is originally from my mother, but I've fiddled with the spices, added rum and so on. I like to bake it in a loaf pan/terrine and serve it in slices, but a classic round creme caramel/flan dish works too. It's very rich, so the whipped cream is optional - served naked, with just its own caramel sauce, is sort of elegant too. —amysarah

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/3 cups Sugar
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 cups Pumpkin puree (I use canned here; fresh is fine, as long as it's very smooth)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon Allspice
  • a pinches Nutmeg
  • 2 cups Heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Dark rum (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In small heavy pan, combine 2/3-cup sugar with ¼ cup water and bring to boil, washing down any sugar crystals clinging to the sides with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves, then continue to cook until it's a deep caramel color.
  3. Pour the caramel into a glass loaf pan, tilting until bottom is evenly coated. Set aside to harden.
  4. Beat eggs with remaining 2/3-cup sugar. Beat in pumpkin puree, salt, spices and cream. Stir in the vanilla and rum (if using.) Pour into the pan, on top of the hardened caramel.
  5. Put the pan in a deep baking dish and add enough very hot water to reach half way up sides of the flan. Bake on the oven’s middle rack for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a small sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean, but it’s still a tiny bit wobbly.
  6. Remove flan from water bath and cool on a rack to room temp. Cover well and put in fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  7. To serve: carefully run a thin knife around edge of pan to separate flan from sides. Invert a serving platter over it (not too shallow – you want to capture all of that caramel sauce.) Carefully flip both together; the flan should slip out easily. If not, give the pan a couple of good whacks with a wooden spoon (cursing and snarling, ‘don’t even think about it!’ helps.) Let the sauce pool over and around it, making sure not a single drop is left behind in the pan.
  8. Serve cut in slices, with some sauce spooned over it. If you like, garnish with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream (plain or with a little vanilla, cinnamon or rum.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • drbabs
  • amysarah
  • hardlikearmour
  • Bevi

9 Reviews

Rita V. January 16, 2017
Great flan! I used fresh pumpkin which has more liquid than canned, so I added 2 more eggs. Perfecto. And the rum of course! Rich, dimensional flavor without the cloying sweetness of some flans.
AntoniaJames November 4, 2015
Whoa, this looks outrageously delicious, and decadent. Reminds me of an ancient James Beard pumpkin pie recipe, though he used less pumpkin (but still, all that cream). And rum? Yes, please! (Not optional. Seriously.) ;o)
AntoniaJames November 4, 2015
Okay, I checked the James Beard pie and he uses the same amount of pumpkin, but more booze (1/3 cup cognac). ;o)
amysarah November 4, 2015
I may have accidentally-on-purpose "spilled" an extra tablespoon or two of rum in there on occasion! And yes, very rich - easily stretched to 10 servings. (Don't know the J Beard recipe...will have to investigate!)
drbabs November 22, 2011
I love this! I'm glad you posted it.
amysarah November 7, 2011
Great! And my pleasure. Truth be told, I haven't made this in a couple of years myself, so hopefully it's as good as I recall. Let me know how the butternut squash works - sounds promising. Btw, if possible, it's really better to let the flan chill overnight in the fridge - that way the top layer absorbs a little of the caramel sauce - adds a nice dimension.
AntoniaJames November 7, 2011
Oh my! How wonderful. Definitely going to try this (but with butternut squash, which seems so much more flavorful this year than any Sugar Spice pumpkin I've roasted). Thank you so, so much for posting this recipe!! ;o)
hardlikearmour November 7, 2011
Yum! This sounds truly fabulous & a great twist on both flan and pumpkin pie.
Bevi November 7, 2011
This is great! Thanks for posting. Preparing in a loaf pan is a great idea.