Pumpkin Flan

Pumpkin Flan

My memories of flan are many and varied. Growing up in a Cuban family, this web we almost always had flan for dessert after Sunday afternoon dinners, impotent and it was almost always made by one of my grandmothers. The ritual was the same. Dinner done, steroids they’d make their way slowly to the kitchen with an armload of dirty dishes. Pots and plates were washed or soaked while the espresso maker was switched on. As it finished brewing, the machine would steam and bang, and the flan would come out of the fridge in preparation for plating. Plating was a dangerous and tricky process whereby one held a plate upside down over the mold, said a little prayer, and flipped quickly. My grandmothers were experts at this maneuver. The mold was removed and caramel would stream from the top of the flan, smelling of vanilla and toasted sugar. A child’s dream come true and still one of the homiest smells I can imagine.

Pumpkin Flan

Though I love traditional flan and all the memories that come with it, I wanted to make something that was a little more Autumn. I took the traditional recipe and added pumpkin, cinnamon, cognac and a little mascarpone cheese. I also dressed it all up with honey cardamom pumpkin seeds and a sprinkling of sweet cocoa nibs. It ended up being a wonderful fall dessert full of caramel and spice and everything nice.

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  2. Oh wow this is one incredible dessert! I LOVE your choice of toppings too :)

  3. This sounds like my next Thanksgiving Day extravaganza!

  4. Could I use cajeta instead of making caramel?

  5. Vicki – No, cajeta is more like dulce de leche. It will be too gooey. I recommend making the caramel, but let me know if you do end up trying it the other way

  6. This is perfect for the coming Holidays. I can’t wait to make some for my family. This is definitely a hit.

  7. For years I have shied away from making a flan because of the whole flipping it over part….it scars me to death. All I can see is flan dripping from the light fixtures whenever I picture making it. This recipe sounds so good, that I may finally face my fear and leap into this one with both feet. I’ll let you know how it goes. – S

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  9. What is sweet cocoa nibs? Who makes them?

  10. I’m badly obsessed with pumpkins. It hits me every year around this time, and I want to use pumpkin with everything, I bookmark recipes with pumpkin and I go to the farmer’s market on the weekends to find good ones – more is more. So to say the least, I’m totally smitten with this recipe. Just found your blog today and can’t stop going through your archive. So many great posts and food inspiration! And gorgeous photography too!

  11. Mel, this looks gorgeous! I swear I can smell it off the page. Love the story accompanied with this recipe. Beautiful picture. Too good. Thank you

  12. Delicious. Next time I will reduce the sugar just a little because it came out slightly too sweet for me. The pumpkin seed brittle was easy and awesome. I liked it best without the cardamom, and it worked well with agave nectar as a substitute for the honey. The cocoa nibs were a nice compliment. Lots of good reviews from friends, too. Thanks!

  13. Ave Maria! Just reading the post makes me swoon. That sounds super-rico! I just roasted some pumpkin and now have a great recipe to try. Guepa!

  14. Oh my! What a great recipe! I think I’ going to try it right away :D Keep the great work up!

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