Nothing Says Home Like Flan

Pumpkin Flan

Milk, sugar, and vanilla: Three of my favorite things in the world. As a child I wasn’t allowed to have sugar (too gordita!) so of course I thought about it all the time. My mom didn’t make a lot of desserts growing up, but she did make one that combined my three favorite things. Her flan is to die for. It’s milky, sweet, and so rich.

Banana Flan with Fresh Bananas and Salted CaramelFor years I tried to make it myself, but I couldn’t recreate it. It wasn’t dense enough. It wasn’t rich enough. It wasn’t hers. Growing up I hated cooking and would spend my time in the kitchen reading a book until it was time to cut vegetables or grate cheese, not paying attention to what she put into her amazing dishes.

When I asked her how she made her flan she said “It’s just condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, and vanilla.” How many eggs? How much condensed milk? Her answer was different every time.

Finally, I got her to look through her recipes (which were just a list of ingredients, no quantities) and write down how she made it. I was blown away by how simple it is; and how bad it is for you! Now I realize why I never could recreate it. I was trying to make a lower fat version. Well, there’s no low fat happening here.

I save her flan for very special occasions. Because I don’t want my boys wondering how I make any of the foods they love, I have them help me when I cook. I want my kids to have that memory of one taste that makes them think of home.

Here is my mom’s recipe for flan, which is easy and decadent. And below is a slightly lower fat, lower sugar Pumpkin Flan recipe that I made for my son’s kindergarten Thanksgiving celebration. It has whole milk, but you can easily substitute low fat milk. And best of all, it’s naturally gluten-free.

Flan de mi Mama en Tucson

1 cup sugar
2 cans sweetened condensed milk (14-ounce cans)
1 can evaporated milk (12-ounces
5 eggs
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 and have a 9-inch cake pan ready. Slowly melt 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is completely melted and golden.

CaramelQuickly pour into cake pan and using pot holders, swirl the pan around until the caramel is covering the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides (doesn’t have to be perfect).

In a large bowl, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Place pan in a larger pan. Slowly add hot water to the larger pan so the water comes up 1 inch on the side of the cake pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the custard is set, which is when a knife comes outclean.

Cool completely and then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. When it comes time to serve, run a knife along the edge of the panto release the flan. Place a serving plate over the top and flip the flan over very carefully and let the syrup run over the top of the flan. Serve in slices with raspberries just on its own.

Pumpkin FlanMilk in bottle

1 cup sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14-ounces)
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
6 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 and have a 9-inch cake pan ready. Slowly melt 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is completely melted and golden.

Quickly pour into cake pan and using pot holders, swirl the pan around until the caramel is covering the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides (doesn’t have to be perfect).

In a large bowl, combine condensed milk, milk, pumpkin, eggs, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Place pan in a larger pan. Slowly add hot water to the larger pan so the water comes up 1 inch on the side of the cake pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the custard is set, which is when a knife comes out clean.

Cool completely and then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. When it comes time to serve, run a knife along the edge of the pan to release the flan. Place a serving plate over the top and flip the flan over very carefully and let the syrup run over the top of the flan.

Pumpkin Flan

Want more milk recipes? El Maestrodel Vaso Medio Lleno has them linked on his Facebook page. Or visit the Master of the Glass Half Full onTwitter.

Disclosure: This is post is part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Processor’s Board and Latina Mom Bloggers.
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