Crème caramel — also known as flan — is a melt-in-your-mouth treat that's oh-so-easy to enjoy. The Latin dessert features a creamy custard base, made from sweet cream and eggs, that's taken to the next level with a clear caramel sauce. For years, flan has satisfied both the hearts and souls of generations upon generations. In fact, the delicacy is so good that it has been reworked into unique regional varieties by many countries, notably India, Japan, Malaysia and the Caribbean.
Here to introduce us to another rendition of flan is Ina Garten and her autumnal-themed pumpkin flan with maple caramel. In addition to the traditional flavors of maple and vanilla, Garten's recipe flaunts hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, grated orange zest and Italian mascarpone. Her twist on a classic staple is the perfect treat to share with loved ones during this season.
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Start by preparing the flan's caramel, which calls for sugar, maple syrup and water. Once the caramel is done, mix in a pinch of fleur de sel (finishing salt) and pour the sugary goodness into a round cake pan. It's important to note that Garten strictly calls for a round cake pan and not a springform pan.
In a separate bowl, mix together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, canned pumpkin, and mascarpone until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla, maple extract, orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg before pouring the mixture into the same cake pan with the caramel.
Bake the flan in a water bath and at the center of the oven. An easy way to tell if the flan is fully cooked is to look at the center, which should be slightly firm and jiggly. Rest the flan on a cooling rack before moving it to the refrigerator. Enjoy a generous slice of the chilled dessert with spoonfuls of syrupy caramel sauce. Full recipe here.
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