No way to resist – at least for me – this light and lovely pumpkin flan! It goes down easy, very willingly! after a spicy meal.
I’m on a 3 week Eat Local Challenge via Slow Food International, and this dessert featured on Day Four night in my kitchen. All who are on the challenge are sourcing local ingredients from farmer’s markets, our own gardens, by foraging in the wild, or straight to local dairies and farmers. It’s been amazing and fun and a little challenge all combined together, to follow and embody my promise to myself – creating my diet with only local foods. I have to admit – honest disclaimer coming – I’m using olive oil, and salt, and pepper, and baking powder not found in a 200 mile radius. I had an uncontrollable popcorn craving that I caved on. But! I have begun making my own butter out of local raw milk, and all herbs are from my own community garden. I must admit I also have eaten chocolate – whose beans are almost assuredly not from Colorado or nearby, are at least developed into Chocolove chocolate bars, out of Boulder.
With this particular dessert, however, all ingredients are sourced from right in Fort Collins, or within just a few miles.
Reserve your pumpkin seeds from the scooping process, pick through, clean and rinse, then toss them with your favorite oil and salt, spread on a baking sheet and roast them in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring and flipping once or twice during roasting time. You’ll have the perfect crunchy, salty garnish to complement the silky, honey-caramel-ly flan.
Pumpkin Flan with Honey Caramel
I was so excited to develop this recipe using my local, Fort Collins, Colorado-and-environs ingredients, cutting out those that weren’t available here (at least in my refrigerator and pantry.) Original recipe sourced through Epicurious, from a 2005 Gourmet Magazine entry. I was excited enough to find it – one of the few that did not use sweetened condensed or evaporated milk. The original did call for a full 2 cups of sugar, and milk + heavy cream. Please check out my version, and give it a try! Lovely for fall.
makes one flan – perfect in a 2 quart casserole dish or souffle pan
- 1.2 c. local honey for caramel
- 1/2 c. local honey for pumpkin custard
- 2 c. full fat whole milk (I used raw milk)
- 5 large local eggs + 1 yolk
- 1 1/2 c. roast pumpkin, scooped from skin and mashed
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional for full Eat Local diet)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees – have available middle rack. Place casserole or souffle dish inside.
Make caramel: Heat the 1/2 c. honey over medium heat in shallow pan until it sustains a low boil for about 5-6 minutes. Wearing oven mitts, remove casserole dish from oven, pour honey in dish, then swirl over bottom and sides of dish, coating well.
For Flan: Heat milk to low simmer in sacuepan, remove from heat. Whisk eggs, yolk, remaining 1/2 c. honey with pumpkin, cinnamon and salt. Prepare water bath for baking. Have ready an ovenproof pan slightly larger than your casserole or souffle dish. Set dish in center of that pan, then pour custard slowly over honey in casserole dish. In outer pan, carefully pour hot water to level of custard. Place flan in water bath in the center of your oven, and bake approximately 1 3/4 hours, last half hour covered. Check flan for setting up once or twice – slip knife in center to test, when it comes out clean, flan is set. lift from water bath and cool flan in it’s pan on cooling rack for 15-20 minutes, then cool until chilled in refrigerator (or freezer) depending how soon you’ll be serving. The flan will shrink from sides of pan when a thin knife is run carefully around the edge between dish and custard.
Invert quickly onto a large platter with a lip – honey caramel will fly!
Your heart will leap when you are ready to serve this pumpkin flan to your guests! Mine did – I totally blanked on a beautiful presentation when I chose my biggest spoon to dig in.
However, all’s well that tastes sublime, don’t you think?
I invite you to dive right in – to this recipe, and to the idea of discovering more of the local farmers who are doing what they love to provide your town, city or area with good, home grown food. Bless the farmers! They work hard and it shows, when you visit their dairies and fields, or scan your eyes over all the beautiful, nourishing vegetables and fruits they display for us at farmer’s markets. And of course, if you are lucky enough to find a square of earth you can dig, and tend, one of the deepest, greatest rewards of my life is growing as much as I can in a garden. With big love. (Check out a few past gardens here and here and here and here, loves of my life that they are.)