Pumpkin Cheesecake Flan
Basically the only time my Mom would ever bake was during the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Every single Thanksgiving, (the second Monday in October for us Canucks) she would bake a pumpkin pie for dessert. But that all changed one fateful day when she found a recipe in the newspaper for a pumpkin pie cheesecake. The classic flavour of pumpkin pie combined with a luscious cheesecake blew her fucking mind, and from that day forward our family had a new holiday dessert; a pumpkin cheesecake.
Flan, which is a baked custard, is an incredibly popular dessert in Mexico. Which can be found in almost every Mexican restaurant, grocery store, and even many households. Flans, cheesecakes, and even pumpkin pies are all baked custards, which are made with sweetened dairy and relays on egg to thicken.
This recipe is a riff of that holiday staple, a Mexican classic, and a tribute to my Mom's baking efforts during the holidays.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Flan
Makes 1 - 8"/20cm flan
- 2 cups / 400 gm sugar
- ¼ cup / 60 ml water
- 4 oz. / 112 gm cream cheese, room temp.
- 1 cup / 280 gm pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp / 5 ml vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp orange zest
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp ginger, powder
- 4 eggs
- 14 oz. / 396 gm condensed milk
- 12 oz. / 354 ml evaporated milk
To make the caramel layer:
1. First of all preheat the oven to 350F / 180C.
Add your sugar and water to a small pot. Watching closely, cook over medium until lightly golden brown, DO NOT STIR to avoid crystallization.
2. When caramel is ready, carefully pour the hot caramel into the bottom of flan mold, making sure to cover the bottom in an even layer.
To make the flan:
1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, salt, vanilla extract, orange zest, and spices. Beat until fully combined.
2. Continue mixing in the eggs, condensed milk, and finally the evaporated milk (or you could just throw everything into a large enough blender and avoid the hassle.)
3. Pour the flan mixture in to your caramel prepared flan mold. The mixture will be very fluid but that's ok.
4. Bake at 350F / 180C in a bain marie (water bath) for about 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until the center has set.
5. Let cool at room temperature, then to fully cool in the fridge over night. Decorate with pumpkin seeds, cinnamon sticks, or better yet pumpkin seed praline. ¡Buen provecho!