One of our favorite fall desserts, worth every minute of the wait!
FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE:
1 cup Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Lemon Or Lime Juice
2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
1/3 cup Water
FOR THE FLAN:
1 can (12 Fl Oz) Evaporated Milk, Or Half Milk And Half Cream
1 can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup Pumpkin Puree, Or More To Taste
1 dash Cinnamon, Or More To Taste (optional)
1 dash Ground Cloves, Or More To Taste (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger Or Grated Fresh Ginger, To Taste (optional)
1 dash Allspice (optional)
3 whole Eggs
2 whole Egg Yolks
FOR THE CARAMEL:
Have six individual-sized 1-cup ramekins, or 8 smaller ones, ready. You won’t have time to get them out once the caramel is done.
Put the caramel ingredients in a cool sauce pan. Put the pan over medium-high heat and let it start heating up. DO NOT STIR. Let everything dissolve together and begin to simmer. If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan, brush the sides with a pastry brush dipped in a little water.
While sauce is heating up, occasionally pick it up and gently swirl it around to lightly mix it. In about 8 to 10 minutes, it will start turning color. Once it has a dark, rich amber color, take it off heat. Working quickly and carefully, pour enough caramel to thoroughly coat the bottom of each ramekin. Evenly divide the caramel among the ramekins. Set aside to cool and harden.
Meanwhile, remove all oven racks except for the lowest one. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put a kettle of water on the stovetop to boil, and line a roasting pan large enough to hold your ramekins. (Line it with either with a kitchen towel or a silicone mat.)
FOR THE FLAN:
Into a blender, pour a bit of the evaporated milk, all of the condensed milk, the pumpkin, spices, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Let sit.
In a medium-sized bowl, crack 3 eggs and add 2 more egg yolks. Gently whisk to break down eggs completely, being careful not to create air bubbles. Mix in the rest of the evaporated milk. Skim off any remaining bubbles from the blender mixture and add that in.
Now that everything is in one bowl, pour the flan mixture through a strainer or sieve and into a separate, empty bowl. Again, be careful when pouring to avoid creating bubbles. Repeat, this time straining back into the original bowl. Continue straining the liquid 3 or 4 times to get it smooth.
Carefully pour the mixture into the ramekins (make sure caramel has hardened), about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Place the roasting pan in the preheated oven and position ramekins inside the pan. Cover each ramekin tightly with foil, then pour hot water into the pan to about halfway up the height of the ramekins. Cook flan in the water bath for about 35 minutes, or until only slightly jiggly.
Cool ramekins on a cooling rack, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to cool completely. This will keep in the ramekins, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.
To serve, run a thin knife around the edges and invert the ramekin onto a serving dish. Make sure the dish has room to hold the caramel.