This delicious pumpkin flan is the result of an experiment in replacing the recipe's usual cream and half and half with low-fat milk. While part of me may have been secretly hoping it wouldn’t come out that good (so I could go back to using cream), I was really happy with the results.
As a self-described expert in human nature, especially as it relates to butterfat, I do have one suggestion; keep that whole low-fat thing to yourself. This great holiday dessert idea should be able to stand on its own merits, without a disclaimer regarding the reduced calories.
Having said that, if someone's not thrilled with this leaner version, well, then we reserve the right to bust out the old, "hey, what the hell did you expect, I used low-fat milk instead of cream!?"
One note on the recipe quantity: If you use 5 to 6 ounce ramekins like I did, you'll have enough pumpkin flan mixture for about eight. I only did six for the video, so I didn't want anyone to be confused.
You can refrigerate the mixture and bake these in batches, but of course they will take longer in the oven, since the custard will be cold going in. Also, a cup of sugar will just barely make enough caramel for 8 ramekins, so in the ingredients below I've increased the sugar a bit to make sure you have enough.
This pumpkin flan recipe would be great any time of year, but really shines around the holidays. I'm not saying forgo the usual array of pumpkin pies, but this may be a great alternative for those that want something a little lighter and crust-free. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 8 Individual Pumpkin Flan:
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
5 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 can pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla (or a split bean)
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of allspice
pinch of mace
1 3/4 cups low-fat milk (for richer version sub 1 cup cream plus 3/4 cup half and half)
pumpkin seeds to garnish, optional