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Recipe: Kabocha Flan

Flan is a traditionally French dessert, a creamy, caramel-y custard (similar to crème brulee).  The main difference is that flan has a soft, liquid caramel on top vs. the hard, caramel shell of crème brulee.  In Europe it’s often made with a pastry crust, but the type we’re used to in the United States is a Latin American take on the dish using condensed milk, without any crust or shell.

kabocha squash

I use fresh kabocha squash in this recipe, though pumpkin or butternut squash are both great choices as well.  You can use canned squash but honestly, that’s my last choice.  In order of preference: fresh, frozen, and lastly, canned.  And if you use canned, don’t use the brand called Farmers Market Organic Pumpkin.  It’s gross.  However, to each his own and any type of winter squash works.

Kabocha Flan

Serves 12-15

  • 2 medium kabocha squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 12-ounce can of 2% evaporated milk
  • 1 14-ounce can of condensed milk
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Fill a roasting pan about ½ with water.  Place the squash, cut side down, in the pan and roast for about 35 minutes or until the squash is easily pierced with a knife.  Remove from the oven.  Once the squash is cool enough to touch, scoop out the flesh and reserve 2 cups (freeze the rest for another flan or make tamales!).

Find a pan (i.e. a 10-inch pie pan or 8×8 glass roasting pan) that fits inside another pan).  Have it close when making the caramel.  In a medium sauce pan over high heat, bring 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil, stirring constantly.  When it starts to turn golden, reduce the heat and remove immediately when the mixture becomes a warm, copper color.  This reaction happens quickly, so be careful not to burn it!  Also, hot sugar is very hot so please be careful.  When the caramel is copper colored, pour it into the pie pan and using pot holders, swirl the caramel around the bottom and sides.  Set aside.

In a large bowl (if you have an immersion blender) or food processer combine the other ingredients and blend until smooth.  Pour into the pie tin and place it inside the roasting pan.  Fill the roasting pan with water about halfway up the side of the pie tin and roast for about 60 minutes.  The flan is done when a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Let the flan cool for about 45 minutes and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours until it sets.

183 calories ∣ 35 calories from fat ∣ 4 g fat ∣ 2 g saturated fat ∣ 32 g carbs ∣ 0 g fiber ∣ 6 g protein ∣ Good source of vitamin A ∣ Calcium∣ Phosphorous

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