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Edith’s Flan de Calabaza or Pumpkin Flan, from Puerto Rico

Flan de calabaza original recipe

This flan de calabaza was sent to Familia Kitchen by one of our favorite homecooks, Naihomy Jerez of New York. Naihomy, who runs a food and wellness consultancy, makes it her personal and professional mission to reimagine recipes (especially Latino ones reflecting her Dominican family heritage) and flip them into good-for-you versions that are often vegan and always guilt-free.

This is the recipe passed onto her family from her mother’s Puerto Rican friend Edith and the ”before” version. If you’re looking for a flan that dairy-free and low-sugar, Naihomy’s flipped version is the one for you. But if you want to keep it classic, it doesn’t get much better or traditional than Edith’s delicioso Puerto Rican take on flan de calabaza.

Edith’s Boricua version transports Familia Kitchen cofounder Kim back to her childhood in Puerto Rico, reminding her of her mother’s classic flan and all the other family-famous custards our community of homecooks have sent into FK over the years. Fun fact: Flan is one of the few food items that are universally served across the 20 Spanish-speaking places in Latin America and the Caribbean. To learn why, check out our history of flan article on this Latino dessert star.

pumpkin flan 3 ways
Check out the three versions of flan de calabaza — one Puerto Rican, one Dominican (with 18 yolks!), and 1 vegan — in Naihomy Jerez’s original post.

This recipe is el postre perfecto para Turkey Day — the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving Day. It’s so creamy and light after the starch-loaded meal. A custardy twist on the expected pumpkin pie, this flan de calabaza is the sweet treat we will be serving at our Thanksgiving feast this year. Everyone asked us for the recipe when we made it last Turkey Day. So, we’ll probably make it next year too.

Ready to Make Edith’s Flan de Calabaza or Pumpkin Flan?

Edith’s Flan de Calabaza or Pumpkin Flan, from Puerto Rico

Recipe by Naihomy Jerez
5.0 from 2 votes
Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

20

minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks

  • 1/2 cup sugar, for caramelizing

  • 5 eggs

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar, for the flan custard

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 can evaporated milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, or to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Make a water bath or baño de Maria: Use a large pan at least 2” tall that is wider than your flan mold. Fill it with water to a level no higher than 1/2 the height of your flan mold (so that water doesn’t spill into your flan). Place the water bath pan on a middle rack, so that it warms up in the preheating oven.
  • Boil the peeled pumpkin until tender (about 15 minutes). Drain well. Mash the pumpkin. Set aside.
  • Pour the sugar into a non-stick pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. In about 5 minutes, it will start to turn light golden as it starts to caramelize. Lower the heat to medium so that the sugar does not burn. When it has fully liquified, pour the melted sugar your flan mold. Set the flan mold aside and let the caramel layer cool.
  • While you are waiting, melt the butter on low heat in a saucepan on the stovetop.
  • Beat the eggs lightly. Stop before they become foamy.
  • In a blender, fully mix the boiled pumpkin, 1 1/2 cups sugar, flour, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and salt.
  • Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flan pan, over the layer of cooled caramel.
  • Place the flan mold into the heated 350° oven in the water bath for 1 hour.
  • Starting at 50 minutes, insert a knife into the custard to test if the flan is done. If the knife comes out clean, the flan is ready. Remove the flan mold from the water bath and allow to cool on your kitchen counter. Place into your refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  • When ready to serve, sit the flan mold in small amount of very hot water to slightly loose the hard caramel layer on the bottom. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the flan to loosen it from the sides of the mold. Flip the chilled flan onto your serving plate. It’s ready for your Thanksgiving or other type of family feast.

Notes

  • For Naihomy’s healthy makeover of this traditional pumpkin flan, check out her dairy-free recipe version here.

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