Pumpkin Flan

Growing up I never had any interest in cooking. It wasn’t until I graduated from college and was living on my own that I started experimenting with food. In my first job at a small market TV station I had to work on Thanksgiving and wasn’t able to fly home to spend it with my family. I decided to try making something sweet to have for the holiday, and came across a recipe for pumpkin flan on FoodNetwork.com, courtesy of Gourmet Magazine.

The recipe calls for heavy cream but I prefer to use nonfat half and half. It still gives the flan a nice texture and doesn’t have as much fat. The original recipe says it yields 8 – 10 servings but I’ve found it makes much more than that. You may want to halve the recipe if you’re making it for a small group or you can refrigerate the uncooked custard and bake it later.

Ingredients

* 1 1/3 cups sugar
* 6 large eggs
* 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
* 2 cups heavy cream

Directions

In a small skillet combine 2/3 cup of the sugar with 1/4 cup water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring and washing down any sugar crystals clinging to the sides with a brush dipped in cold water until the sugar is dissolved. Cook the syrup, swirling the skillet, until it is a deep caramel, pour it into a warm 2-quart glass loaf pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom evenly, and let the caramel harden.

In a bowl beat the eggs with the remaining 2/3 cup sugar, beat in the pumpkin puree, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cream, and pour the custard into the loaf pan. Set the loaf pan in a deep baking pan, add enough hot water to the baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the loaf pan, and bake the flan in the middle of a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F) for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the flan cool and chill it, covered, overnight. Run a thin knife around the edge of the loaf pan, invert a platter over the pan, and invert the flan onto the platter. Serve the flan by cutting it into slices.

To see the recipe on Food Network’s website click here.

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