brandied pumpkin flanPosted: January 23, 2013
This recipe is dedicated to my foster family in Italy ~ the hospitality
they shared was bigger than Texas! I’ll never forget us uniting over this dish during “Tex Mex Night” in Tuscany.
~ ♥ ~
A flan on fire?
You betcha! This is one of the most amazing recipes that made my Mom look more magician than chef.
When I was growing up this flan was typically served at Thanksgiving. When it was time for dessert the lights would be dimmed and Mom placed the flan in the middle of the table and lit the brandy. Widening eyes were aglow. Pure deliciousness on many levels!
I was on holiday in Italy when I made this recipe for the very first time; it was something that we had for dessert for “Tex Mex Night.” A memory for a lifetime.
¾ cup | sugar
1 cup | canned or cooked pumpkin
1 cup | milk
1 cup | light cream
6 | cage free eggs
½ cup | sugar
½ teaspoon | salt
2 teaspoons | vanilla extract
⅓ cup | brandy
2 tablespoons | brandy (more brandy!)
ii. what to do
0. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place a 8 ¼” round, shallow baking dish into the oven. See my Texas twist on the dish shape below!
1. In a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, cook ¾ cup sugar until it melts and forms a light-brown syrup. Stir to blend and do not overcook!
2. Immediately pour syrup into the warmed baking dish. Holding the dish with pot holders, quickly rotate it back and forth, to cover bottom and sides of the dish completely. Set aside to cool. You may be surprised to hear that as the sugary syrup cools it will begin to crack inside the pan. This is totally normal and one of the hidden surprises of this recipe (the other surprise is when you set the flan on fire in step 7)!
4. In a large bowl with a rotary beater, add eggs and beat them slightly. Add sugar, salt and vanilla. Gradually stir in the hot pumpkin-milk mixture and ⅓ cup brandy. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
5. Set the baking dish into a shallow aluminum pan. In a Pyrex measuring cup microwave some water until it begins to boil. Pour the boiling water to a ½-inch level around the dish. Put the dish/pan into the preheated oven.
6. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the flan comes out clean. Remove the custard from the oven, let cool and refrigerate overnight.
7. To serve, run a small spatula around the edge of the dish to loosen the flan. Invert the dish onto a shallow serving dish and shake gently to release. The caramel acts as a tasty sauce. Lower the lights in the room, gather your foodies, and at the table ignite 2 tablespoons of warm brandy and quickly pour it over the flan.
It was at this point back when I was in Italy that our Italian host “Fausto” grabbed a pitcher of water in case things got fiery. Oh, they did, but only in pure awesomeness. We were all impressed. Me? I was simultaneously surprised and proud. At this step you can whisper some magic chant or a funny limerick for full effect. Your foodies will admire you! Or at least fear you. :)
foodie tips ~
♥ No 1 cup of light cream on hand? You can substitute ⅓ cup milk with ⅔ cup heavy cream. Worked like a charm!
♥ In step 4 above, make sure and slowly add the hot pumpkin-milk mixture into the egg mixture to prevent cooking of the eggs! This step works great with two people; a “stirrer” and a “pourer.”