People either love it or hate it.
I am in the middle. I like about one, perhaps two, creamy bite (s) of flan, and no more.
I love the way the sugary syrup and the creamy custard melt on my tongue.
And how phenomenally easy it is to make. But sometimes I want a little something sturdier to hold it all up. Like a crunchy crust, or even a cake-like crust.
(There is something like that called Impossible cake, a.k.a. Chocoflan. I tried it once, as you can see here. Total cake fail. But I digress.)
Anyway, the addition of a pumpkin puree and a bit of cream cheese give this rendition of flan a bit more to hold on to, so to speak. Though I am still a bit ambivalent, I made this for my cooking class at Orange Tree recently and it was the hit of the night.
(I think the students were actually happy that we made it to the end of class and had survived a small fire, and a warm milk/sugar eruption from a blender. But I digress). If you make it this morning, it will be ready for your super bowl dinner tonight! It would go great with Tortilla Soup and Puff Pastry Empanadas!
For caramel sauce
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 325.
Heat water on stove.
Get roasting pan ready.
1 1/3 cup milk, 1 1/3 cup half and half
4 oz cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp ginger, ancho chili powder
1 cup pumpkin puree
Moisten sugar with water in saucepan and mix. Bring to a boil brushing down sides of pan if necessary. Let boil for about 3-5 minutes until it starts to turn golden, give a swirl then let boil until straw colored. Do not stir the sugar!!!!
Remove from heat and pour immediately in flan mold. Swirl to coat bottom.
Mix milks, cream cheese and sugar in saucepan and bring to simmer.
Beat eggs and yolk in separate mixing bowl.
Strain into pitcher or bowl. This is very important. Non-strained flan looks like cottage cheese.
Pour strained flan mixture over caramelized sugar, and place flan mold in roasting pan. Add hot water to make a water bath and carefully place in oven. Bake 50-70 minutes, depending on size/depth of flan. Should be slightly jiggly in center, but not wet. Let cool for about an hour or 2 at room temp.
Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
To remove, loosen sides with a knife, and invert on serving platter.