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Ingredients (17)

For the pumpkin:

  • 1 pound calabaza pumpkin, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces; or 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

For the flan base:

  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the caramel:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
Nutritional Information
  • Calories614
  • Fat29.2g
  • Saturated fat16.6g
  • Trans fat0.24g
  • Carbs84.42g
  • Fiber2.21g
  • Sugar79.96g
  • Protein7.35g
  • Cholesterol310.58mg
  • Sodium106.09mg
  • Nutritional Analysis per serving (8 servings) Powered by

Randy Zweiban of Chicago’s Nacional 27 gave us this recipe. He serves it as a part of his Cuban Christmas menu, but it’s great anytime of year.

What to buy: Calabaza is also called West Indian pumpkin and can be found in some specialty produce markets. Canned pumpkin is a fine substitute.


For the pumpkin:
  1. 1
    Heat oven to 325°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the calabaza, butter, and spices. Turn onto a baking sheet and cook until the calabaza is fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. 2
    Purée the calabaza mixture and set aside. (If using the canned pumpkin, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.)

For the flan base:

  1. 1
    Whisk the egg yolks and eggs together until frothy; set aside. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk, sugar, scraped vanilla beans, vanilla pod and salt and bring to a boil.
  2. 2
    Temper by whisking a portion of the cream mixture into the beaten eggs. Add the combined mixture back into the boiled cream and whisk thoroughly.
  3. 3
    Add the calabaza mixture and whisk to combine. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice and water. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve and cool over ice water bath.

For the caramel:

  1. 1
    Combine sugar, lemon juice, and 1 cup water in a medium saucepot over medium heat. With a wet pastry brush, wipe down the sides of the saucepan.
  2. 2
    Cook the caramel until it achieves an amber color. Remove from heat immediately.

To assemble:

  1. 1
    Preheat oven to 300°F. Set a medium pot of water over high heat to boil.
  2. 2
    Pour the caramel into 1/2-cup or 1-cup ramekins and immediately pour the caramel out so the cups are lined with caramel.
  3. 3
    Let the caramel harden in the ramekins, then fill the ramekins to three-quarters height with the flan.
  4. 4
    Create a water bath by putting the ramekins into a glass baking dish and then adding enough of the boiling water to two-thirds height of the ramekins.
  5. 5
    Cover the flan and bake until the flan sets (i.e., it will not jiggle), about 45 minutes. Serve in the cups with whipped cream.
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