Flan is a custard topped with a rich golden caramel sauce. The two main ingredients used in preparing all custards are milk and eggs. This dessert can be baked in the oven in a water bath (bain-marie) or steamed on top of the stove. There are many variations of flan in the Puerto Rican culture. In addition to our traditional flan (which is made with milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla), we also prepare flan with cream cheese, pumpkin, coconut or breadfruit.
The pumpkin cream cheese flan is made with West Indian Pumpkin – a Caribbean pumpkin. Furthermore, the blend of pumpkin spices used in this recipe will enhance the pumpkin flavors to each slice of custard (flan)! Because I grow my own West Indian Pumpkins in the Midwest, I am able to prepare, package and freeze the pumpkin in large quantities for future use. Click on the link to learn How to Prepare and Package West Indian Pumpkin.
The West Indian Pumpkins are sold whole or in wedges at the Latin Markets. However, you can use butternut squash for this recipe if you are unable to purchase the West Indian Pumpkin.
A Little Bit of History!
Who created the custard (flan)? The Romans had domesticated chickens for the sole purpose of laying eggs. Due to a surplus of eggs, they consulted with the Greeks because they were known for their art of cooking. Therefore, the Greeks created the custard using just eggs and cream. The custard was not sweet but definitely a savory dish. As a result, the Greeks later added honey to the custard for a more pleasant sweet tasting experience. However, it was the Spaniards that invented the creamy custard made with caramelized sugar that is known today as “flan.” They also introduced the “flan” to Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
Let’s Start Caramelizing the Sugar!
In a 9-inch baking pan (make sure the baking pan can be used on top of the stove), add 1 cup of sugar over low heat to caramelize the sugar.
Melt sugar until it is completely caramelized and turns into a golden brown color. Stir occasionally.
With both hands (oven gloves on), carefully swirl the caramel, coating the bottom and sides of the baking pan.
Place the baking pan on a rack to cool.
It’s Time to Prepare the Pumpkin Mixture!
In an electric blender, add the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla.
Continue adding to the electric blender the ground ginger, salt, allspice, cinnamon, ground cloves and ground nutmeg.
The last ingredient to add is the puréed West Indian Pumpkin. Click on the link to learn How to Prepare and Package West Indian Pumpkin.
Beat at high speed until all the ingredients are well blended.
Now We are Ready to Bake the Custard (Flan)!
Heat oven to 350°F. Place the baking pan with caramelized sugar inside another larger baking pan (oven pancake pan with handles). Pour approximately 1½ – 2 cups of water in between both pans.
Now let’s pour the pumpkin mixture into the 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 1 hour or until the custard is cooked and the center of the custard is firm.
You can make two (2) pumpkin custards by using two 8½-inch baking pans or you can make one (1) pumpkin custard and prepare pumpkin pancakes with the leftover pumpkin mixture. The leftover pumpkin mixture should measure at least 2 cups. Mix 1 cup of flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder to the pumpkin mixture to form the pancake batter. However, if you decide to make two custards, add 1 cup of sugar to each baking pan for the caramel.
Once the pumpkin custard is completely cooked, carefully (oven gloves on) remove the pumpkin custard from pancake oven pan. Let cool and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Final Instructions before Serving the Pumpkin Custard (Flan)!
When ready to serve, run a knife around the inside edges of the pan to loosen the custard. Cover baking pan with a large plate.
Invert pumpkin custard onto a large plate and gently lift the baking pan to release the custard. See video below!
Serve a slice of pumpkin cream cheese flan to your family or guests. The pumpkin spices will definitely add a burst of flavor to each slice of this delicious and creamy custard (flan) topped with a liquid caramel base!
Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Make Pumpkin Cream Cheese Custard (Flan)!
Recipe and Nutritional Facts
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.Print
The blend of pumpkin spices used in this recipe will enhance the pumpkin flavors to each slice of pumpkin cream cheese custard (flan).
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 package (8 ounces) soft light cream cheese
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pinch salt (low sodium)
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup puréed pumpkin (West Indian Pumpkin)
- 1 cup sugar for Caramel
- Add 1 cup of sugar in a 9-inch round baking pan over low heat. Melt sugar until it is completely caramelized and turns to a golden brown color.
- Swirl the caramel, holding pan with both hands (oven gloves on), to coat the bottom and the sides of the baking pan. Set aside to cool.
- Heat oven to 350°F. In an electric blender, add the remaining ingredients and blend all the ingredients at high speed.
- Place the baking pan with caramelized sugar inside another larger baking pan (oven pancake pan with handles). Pour 1½ to 2 cups of water in between both baking pans.
- Pour pumpkin mixture into the caramelized baking pan. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until the custard is cooked and the center of the custard is firm.
- Remove the pumpkin custard (oven gloves on) from pancake oven pan. Let cool and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Run a knife carefully around the inside edges of the pan to loosen the custard before serving the custard. Cover baking pan with a large plate.
- Invert the custard onto the large plate and gently lift the baking pan to release the custard.
- Enjoy a slice of this delicious pumpkin cream cheese custard (flan).
See video and food blogging post on How to Prepare and Package West Indian Pumpkin. If you are unable to purchase the West Indian Pumpkin, you can use butternut squash as a substitute.
You can make delicious pumpkin pancakes with the remaining pumpkin mixture if preparing one (1) custard in a 9-inch baking pan. Here are the ingredients for the Pumpkin Pancake batter: 2 cups pumpkin mixture; 1 cup all purpose flour and 2 teaspoons baking powder.
The nutritional value is based on one (1) custard (flan) prepared in a 9-inch baking pan. With this recipe, however, you can make two pumpkin cream cheese custards, using two 8½-inch baking pans.
- Category: Desserts
- Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Keywords: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Flan