I grow my own West Indian Pumpkin in the Midwest during the summer months. The pumpkins are then cooked, puréed, packaged and stored in the freezer for future use. I am, therefore, able to make these sweet and creamy pumpkin fritters throughout the year. They are considered the ultimate fall treat in our culture. Today we prepare many dishes with West Indian Pumpkin like our flavorful pumpkin custard (flan) or savory comfort pumpkin soup. The Spanish name for this recipe is Barrigas de Vieja – which means old ladies’ belly. When the pumpkin fritters are fried, wrinkles appear on the surface of the dough similar to the bellies of the elderly women. I am pretty sure many elderly men have just as much wrinkles on their bellies. LOL!
The Caribbean 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.
The Taíno Indians cultivated the pumpkins in Puerto Rico. The West Indian Pumpkin is a round or oblong squash that is popular in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The color of the skin can vary and can include green, orange and tan hues. The flesh of the West Indian Pumpkin is firm and bright orange with a sweet flavor similar to butternut squash.
You will need 2 cups of puréed pumpkin. Click on the link to learn How to Prepare and Package West Indian Pumpkin.
Let’s Start Mixing the Ingredients!
Add the flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar in a bowl. Mix all the dry ingredients until well blended.
We will add the vanilla extract.
We are now ready to add the main ingredient – puréed pumpkin.
With a spoon, stir all the ingredients until well blended. Once a batter is formed, we can start frying the pumpkin batter.
It’s Time to Fry the Pumpkin Batter!
In a large skillet, heat 1 cup of oil to 365°F. Carefully add pumpkin mixture by tablespoonfuls into the skillet.
Fry until golden brown on one side for approximately 3 minutes.
With a spatula, carefully turn the pumpkin fritters to the other side and continue frying until golden brown – approximately 2 minutes.
Remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Serve warm and enjoy these delicious pumpkin fritters.
Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Make Pumpkin Fritters!
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
- 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