Pumpkin Flan

This Pumpkin Flan recipe is a great addition to your Thanksgiving table! A crowd-pleasing holiday dessert with the silky, creamy texture of a baked custard and the festive taste of pumpkin pie!  

overhead shot of two individual pumpkin flans on two saucers decorated with dollops of whipped cream and pomegranate arils

Celebrate Thanksgiving and the holidays in style with this festive Pumpkin Flan recipe: 

Another pumpkin recipe. #Sorrynotsorry.

side view of two individual pumpkin flans on two saucers topped with whipped cream and pomegranate arils

Can we agree that nothing screams fall more than pumpkin and pumpkin spice!? Fall marks the start of harvest and pre-holiday cheer. And, if you’re from a Latin background you know this is the start of flan season. No party or family get together is complete without a flan on the table.

Flan is a Latino dessert tradition and a delicious sweet treat that is easy to prepare! There are many different kinds of flan, like coconut, caramel, vanilla, rum, rompope, coffee, chocolate– you get the idea.

And then there is pumpkin flan which might not be a super traditional flan flavor but definitely one of the best I have tried! I can’t think of anybody who did not fall in love with this pumpkin flan after the first bite.

ingredients for making pumpkin flan whimsically arranged on a rustic wooden door

What makes this pumpkin flan so special:

Seriously, how amazing would this pumpkin flan be as the final note to an intimate Thanksgiving gathering?

It’s elegant, lighter and far more imaginative than the standard pumpkin pie that we’ve all had about a million times throughout our lifetimes, am I right?

brown and white eggs on a matte ceramic plate with decorative squash in the background

I love the idea of individual servings if your Thanksgiving table has say, 8 guests or less. Any more than that and you’re just asking for a mild panic attack- and no one wants that.

But for a smaller affair I think serving individual mini flans is a fine idea. It makes people feel special when they receive their own fancy little pumpkin dessert!

overhead hot of 4 small black ramekins with freshly baked pumpkin flans

Bonus: It’s even easier to make than pumpkin pie! And since this is basically just a pumpkin pie filling of sorts minus the crust, no one will even miss the traditional standby. Plus, with a yummy built-in caramel sauce, your guests will surely shower you with ooohs and ahhhs.

Tips for making this pumpkin flan:

  • Do not walk away from the stove when you’re making the caramel or your caramel might over brown and burn. Do not be tempted to turn up the heat and hurry the caramelization process. Be patient, the sugar will melt and turn a perfect golden brown.
  • To prevent a grainy texture strain your mixture through a mesh sieve.
  • Check your oven temperature with a thermometer. Cooking your flan at too high a temperature can cause the custard to curdle and result in graininess.  Low and slow  is the key to a silky smooth flan and DO NOT forget to cook it in a water bath.
  • As soon as you see your pumpkin flan has set around the edges with a slight jiggle in the center, turn off the heat and let it cool.
overhead shot of two homemade pumpkin flans on two saucers served with whipped cream and caramel sauce

Variations on this Pumpkin Flan recipe:

  • I chose to decorate my pumpkin flan with pretty jewel-like pomegranate seeds, but don’t stop there. Fresh whipped cream with cinnamon or toasted pumpkin seeds would also make delightful accents.
  • You can turn this into a Pumpkin Chai Flan by using chai spice mix instead of pumpkin spice.
  • Feel free to add some orange zest to the flan mix to make this an orange pumpkin flan.
  • Instead of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg you can use 1 3/4 tsp pre-mixed pumpkin spice.

an individual serving of pumpkin flan served with caramel, whipped cream and pomegranate arils


For more festive Thanksgiving desserts, check out:


close-up sideview of a serving of pumpkin flan with one spoonful missing

Thanks for reading Le Petit Eats! To keep up with my kitchen escapades, follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest. If you make this Pumpkin Flan recipe, don’t forget to share it using the hashtag #LePetitEats!

5 from 5 votes
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Pumpkin Flan

This Pumpkin Flan recipe is a great addition to your Thanksgiving table! A crowd-pleasing holiday dessert with the silky, creamy texture of a baked custard and the festive taste of pumpkin pie!  

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword flan recipe, pumpkin flan, Thanksgiving dessert
Servings 6 servings
Author Denisse

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup pureed or canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray six ramekins with nonstick cooking spray and arrange ramekins in a baking pan with high sides.
  2. Heat 1/2 cup of sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, until sugar caramelizes and turns dark brown about 7-8 minutes. Working quickly so that sugar does not harden, divide caramel equally among ramekins.

  3. Bring heavy cream to a simmer in a saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside. Add remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, eggs, egg yolks, pumpkin, vanilla, spices, and salt to a medium-sized bowl and mix until smooth. Slowly add hot cream to the mixture, whisking until combined.

  4. Divide filling evenly among ramekins and fill the baking pan halfway with boiling water. Transfer baking pan to oven and bake until custard is just set about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

  5. When flans have cooled, place a dessert plate on top of each ramekin and invert (carefully run a butter knife around the edge if flans do not slide out easily). Allow caramel syrup to pour over the top of each flan and garnish with pomegranate seeds if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • Do not walk away from the stove when you're making the caramel or your caramel might over brown and burn. Do not be tempted to turn up the heat and hurry the caramelization process. Be patient, the sugar will melt and turn golden brown.
  • To prevent a grainy texture with air pockets, try to avoid whisking air into your flan batter. It's best to stir with a silicone spatula as opposed to a whisk.
  • Check your oven temperature with a thermometer. Cooking your flan at too high a temperature can cause the custard to curdle and result in graininess.  Low and slow  is the key to a silky smooth flan and DO NOT forget to cook it in a water bath.
  • As soon as you see your pumpkin flan has set and stopped jiggling, turn off the heat and let it cool.

two servings of homemade caramel pumpkin flan on two shabby chic saucers

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Comments

  1. Anjali

    I absolutely loved making this holiday-twist on traditional Flan! Everyone in my family devoured this dessert, and the pomegranate seeds were a beautiful garnish!

    Reply

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