Pumpkin Flan in a Pumpkin

Pumpkin flan is a quite common variant of flan, which is made by adding pumpkin puree to classic flan recipe. It tastes delicious with the pumpkin flavor mixing with the creamy and sweet taste of flan. To enjoy more pumpkin in pumpkin flan when autumn comes, I decided to make a new version of it: pumpkin flan in a pumpkin. By using pumpkin as the container for flan, I can reduce the pumpkin puree inside the flan to keep the smoothest texture of it but can still have more pumpkin.

Pumpkin Flan in a pumpkin

My recipe for pumpkin flan in a pumpkin is simple. I followed my favorite flan recipe, which I used to make classic flan and lemon flan. I added very little of butternut squash purée to the mixture to keep the inherent smoothness and creaminess of flan. The taste of this pumpkin version was wonderful. It was not too sweet thanks to the higher amount of pumpkin as well as the removal of caramel for flan, so healthy. Moreover, it has a very cool look. This can be a lovely dessert for Halloween season.

Let’s make it with me by following the instruction below.

Ingredients

The ingredients for pumpkin flan are basic. You’ll need eggs, whipping cream, milk, sugar and pumpkin.

Eggs, whipping cream, Milk and Sugar are our familiar parts to make a dessert. Making flan also requires only these. If you run out of whipping cream, you can substitute milk for it. The amount of sugar is free to adjust. You can test the sweetness of the mix by tasting it before adding eggs in. We are always able to drink milk, whipping and sugar uncooked.

For pumpkin, this recipe uses lower part of a butternut squash (butternut pumpkin) to make a container for pumpkin flan, and ½ cup of butternut squash cubes to make puree. It’s optional, you can skip making purée to add into the mix above. There may be excessive flan mixture, you should either add it to small cups or to another pumpkin container.

Pumpkin container
A pumpkin container made from butternut pumpkin.

How to make pumpkin flan in a pumpkin

Step 1. Prepare pumpkin container

To make a pumpkin container, cut a butter butternut squash horizontally and take the lower part which has seeds inside. Use a spoon to remove the seeds clearly. Then, cut a bit more on top of it to increase the capacity of it. Finally, flatten a bit at the end of the pumpkin container so that it can stand firmly.

If you use a round pumpkin, it’s even easier. Trim off the top and remove all the seeds inside. Use the cut top as a lid.

Cutting Pumpkin for making flan
Cut a bit more on top of it to increase the capacity of it

Besides, you will need a bit more pumpkin to make puree. It’s optional, for me, I used only ½ cup of butternut squash cubes to mix with 400ml flan mixture. It’s still a pumpkin flan with less pumpkin purée. To cut a butternut squash into cubes, you can refer to my article guiding how to cut a butternut pumpkin (butternut squash).

Step 2. Making Pumpkin Purée

Making pumpkin or butternut squash purée is easy. Boil the pumpkin cubes on stove. Since the water begins to boil, keep the rolling boil for 10 minutes more. Then, turn off the heat and use a strainer and a spatula or spoon to crush boiled pumpkin cubes. Or if you have a blender, blend the cooked pumpkin into purée.

Step 3. Making Flan Mixture

Like any other flan recipes, you will need to pasteurize the eggs. More than that, heating up eggs can help to dissolve it better in milk and whipping cream.

Gently warm a mix of 3 eggs over low heat. You can do this by using a bowl on top of a pot, but make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the pot’s bottom. Stir it with a whisk until it’s fully dissolved and reaches a temperature of 140-160°F (60-70°C). Keep stirring to prevent the eggs from cooking.

Slightly heat up some whipped cream, milk, and sugar until all dissolved. Pour the lukewarm cream and milk into the egg mixture and stir it in one direction until it’s well mixed. You should stir it in one direction only to avoid introducing bubbles to the mixture, which make your flan loose it smooth texture. Add vanilla extract to fade the smell of eggs. Next, strain the mixture through a strainer a few times to get rid of air bubbles and leftover egg bits. Finally, add your pumpkin purée in. Stir it well the last time.

FLan batter

Pour this mixture into your prepared pumpkin container, filling it up until nearly full. Because flan will expand during baking, don’t fulfil the pumpkin container 100%. If you forgot it (like me), once the flan is cooked, you must cut off the top of the pumpkin for a good appearance.

Making pumpkin flan in a pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C). Bake the flan using a water bath method. Fill a baking tray halfway with water and place the flan molds on it. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you’re using a steamer, wrap the pumpkin with foil or heat-resistant plastic to prevent water from dripping onto the flan. Steam them at 175-195°F (80-90°C, low heat) for about 1 hour or so.

Check if the flan is done by poking it with a toothpick or skewer. If it comes out clean without any flan mixture sticking to it, the flan is ready.

Serving pumpkin flan in a pumpkin

When serving pumpkin flan in a pumpkin, you can either serve the whole pumpkin or serve the cut. A successful pumpkin flan must be firm with smooth texture of the flan and thoroughly cooked pumpkin flesh. The pumpkin flesh and the flan should stick together after cutting.

Serving pumpkin flan
Serve the whole pumpkin flan…
Pumpkin flan
Or cut into pieces.

If you desire more sweetness, drizzle condensed milk, honey, or maple syrup all. You can also garnish a bit pumpkin purée on top of the flan. Be creative!

Tips and tricks

These are some tips I learnt after making the dessert and would like to share with you.

  • Firstly, be patient. Follow the baking temperature instructions to achieve the best texture. Avoid rushing with high heat, as it can lead to a rough and broken texture. Slow and steady baking is key for a smooth and creamy flan. Here you have a pumpkin to be cooked together, so let’s be slow and wait patiently.
  • Secondly, if you want to cut your flan into smaller pieces, cut it slowly and gently to avoid the crack. Use a sharp knife and cut from the top down to the bottom. Be gentle, be gentle.
  • Lastly, Let the flan cool down before refrigerating it. This helps it set properly and maintain its smooth texture. Following these tips will help you create a delicious and flawless flan for any dessert occasion.

Storing Pumpkin Flan

Because there is cooked pumpkin there, your flan can’t last for too long. You should consume it within 3 days maximum.

When storing it in the fridge, please note these simple preservation tips:

  • Cover the flan with a tightly fitting lid or plastic wrap. Make sure it’s sealed well to keep air and moisture out, which can make the flan dry or affect its taste.
  • You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but it’s best to enjoy it within the first day for the optimal taste and texture.
  • Although it’s unfortunate, remove it right away when you smell a strange odor.

Let’s try the recipe and show me your perfect flan for this autumn!

Other Flan & Pumpkin Recipes

You can try many more flan & pumpkin recipes. Let’s make:

All easy!

Pumpkin Flan in a pumpkin

Pumpkin Flan in a Pumpkin

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

To enjoy more pumpkin within pumpkin flan when autumn comes, I decided to make a new version of it: pumpkin flan in a pumpkin.

Ingredients

Pumpkin container

  • A lower half of butternut squash, or
  • A round pumpkin

Flan

  • 3/4 cup (200ml) fresh milk
  • 4 tbsp (75 ml) whipping cream
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100g) butternut squash's cubes
  • 3 tbsp (45g) sugar
  • Several drops of vanilla extract

Instructions

Step 1. Prepare pumpkin container

  • To make a pumpkin container, cut a butter butternut squash horizontally and take the lower part which has seeds inside. how to cut a butternut pumpkin
  • Use a spoon to remove the seeds clearly. Then, cut a bit more on top of it to increase the capacity of it. Finally, flatten a bit at the end of the pumpkin container so that it can stand firmly.Pumpkin flanPumpkin container
  • If you use a round pumpkin, it’s even easier. Trim off the top and remove all the seeds inside. Use the cut top as a lid.

Step 2. Making Pumpkin Purée

  • Boil the pumpkin cubes on stove. Since the water begins to boil, keep the rolling boil for 10 minutes more. Then, turn off the heat and use a strainer and a spatula or spoon to crush boiled pumpkin cubes. Or if you have a blender, blend the cooked pumpkin into purée.pumpkin milk

Step 3. Making Flan Mixture

  • Gently warm a mix of 3 eggs over low heat. You can do this by using a bowl on top of a pot, but make sure the bowl doesn't touch the pot's bottom. Stir it with a whisk until it's fully dissolved and reaches a temperature of 140-160°F (60-70°C). Keep stirring to prevent the eggs from cooking.limoncello tiramisu
  • Slightly heat up some whipped cream, milk, and sugar until all dissolved. Pour the lukewarm cream and milk into the egg mixture and stir it in one direction until it's well mixed. You should stir it in one direction only to avoid introducing bubbles to the mixture, which make your flan loose it smooth texture. Add vanilla extract to fade the smell of eggs. Next, strain the mixture through a strainer a few times to get rid of air bubbles and leftover egg bits. Finally, add your pumpkin purée in. Stir it well the last time.FLan batter
  • Pour this mixture into your prepared pumpkin container, filling it up until nearly full. Because flan will expand during baking, don’t fulfil the pumpkin container 100%.Making pumpkin flan in a pumpkin
  • Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C). Bake the flan using a water bath method. Fill a baking tray halfway with water and place the flan molds on it. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you're using a steamer, wrap the pumpkin with foil or heat-resistant plastic to prevent water from dripping onto the flan. Steam them at 175-195°F (80-90°C, low heat) for about 1 hour or so.Steaming pumpkin flan
  • Check if the flan is done by poking it with a toothpick or skewer. If it comes out clean without any flan mixture sticking to it, the flan is ready. Serve a whole pumpkin flan or cut into pieces.Pumpkin Flan in a pumpkin

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 250g
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215

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