Maple/Pumpkin Flan Recipe, Casa Escondida B&B, Thanksgiving Dessert

Everybody knows that traditional flan is a delicious, creamy, custard-type of New Mexican dessert. Everybody also thinks that flan is incredibly difficult to prepare. Here is the Casa Escondida Bed & Breakfast flan recipe that is easy to make. Shhhh….your guests don’t need to know how easy this flan is to prepare. Because Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I’ve tweaked the recipe just a bit and converted my traditional flan recipe into a wonderful “Maple /Pumpkin Flan” recipe that you can serve for Thanksgiving. This is a great make-ahead recipe that is actually better if you bake it the day before. Here is the recipe:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

You will need the following equipment:
 9 inch glass pie pan or baking dish (a deep pan is best)
A roasting pan (big enough to sit your baking dish in).
An electric blender (or mix stick)
Cast iron skillet or heavy pan
Tea Kettle or pot for boiling water

You will need the following ingredients:
1 cup of real maple syrup
1 – 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1 – 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 – 7.6 oz. can of Nestle Media Crema (typically found in the Hispanic food section of your grocery). Note: You can substitute 1 cup of sour cream for the Nestle  Media Crema if necessary.
¾ cup milk
3 large eggs + 3 additional egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 – 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (depending on your taste)
Note: Pumpkin pie spice is a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. If you don’t have any pumpkin pie spice on hand, simply use this mix of spices instead.

Heat the maple syrup in a heavy sauce pan or iron skillet (do not use a non-stick skillet for this). Cook over Medium/Low heat, stirring until the maple syrup is significantly reduced and thickened. Remove from heat and pour the thickened maple syrup into the glass pie pan. Tilt and rotate the glass pan to ensure that the thickened maple syrup coats the bottom and the sides of the glass pan (1/2 way up the sides).  As the syrup cools it should set-up and almost solidify. Set this aside.

Start bringing a kettle of water to a boil.

In the blender, mix all of the other ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Place the syrup-coated glass baking dish into the empty roasting pan.
Gently pour the pumpkin flan mix into the glass baking dish (trying not to disturb the cooled maple syrup that is in the glass pan).
Slide the oven rack ½ way out and set the roasting pan on the oven rack.
Pour enough boiling water from the kettle into the roasting pan so that the water is ½ way up the sides of the glass baking dish. Gently slide the oven rack back into the oven and bake for approximately 55 minutes.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Leave the glass dish in the hot water bath. The flan will continue to cook in the hot water bath. Let the flan cool to room temperature before removing the glass dish from the water bath. Cover the flan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Chill at least 2 hours (overnight is best).
To serve, place your serving plate on top of the glass dish and then flip, allowing the flan to release and drop onto the serving plate. Scrape any remaining syrup onto the flan. Slice and serve.
Note: If you need to loosen the flan before inverting onto the serving plate, you can run a knife around the edge and dip the glass pan in warm tap water.

Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving from the staff at Casa Escondida Bed & Breakfast!