I love flan. It’s different, but it’s delicious. It’s like a creamy custard pie whose crust has been replaced by a silky caramel-like sauce topping. Flan was actually one of the first desserts I ever made. It was a pumpkin flan and it was a little over 12 years ago and I have no idea where the recipe is. Fortunately, 12 years later I was able to make another one that came out just as great! This time I decided to make a butternut squash version. Butternut Squash Flan. Trust me, it doesn’t disappoint.
Check out How To Roast a Butternut Squash.
How To Make The Maple Caramel Topping
Traditionally, the topping is a simple caramel made of water and sugar. Because this is a butternut squash variation, I am swapping out the water for maple syrup. How can that not work, right?
I am using a 9 in round cake pan for this flan, but I have also used a glass pie dish and it came out great! You also want to place your pan into another larger pan(creating what is called a Bain Marie). This will later be filled with hot water to help your custard bake evenly. There are also special pans made for making flans, but I have never used them. Have you?
The first thing you are going to want to do is make your caramel topping. I am using sugar and maple syrup here.
When heating up your caramel, you want to swirl the sauce in the pan instead of stirring until your sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook it at a low boil until the temperature reaches 230 degrees. This will take anywhere between 5-10 minutes. Pour it immediately into your oiled pan to set.
How To Make The Flan
I am opting for the blender here, but you can use a food processor or a stand/hand mixer.
Starting with your milks and butternut squash, blend together until smooth. About a good 30 seconds.
Then add the rest of your ingredients and blend for 1 minute starting on low and gradually increasing the speed.
Pour the filling slowly on your your set maple caramel and fill your roasting or base pan with hot water. It doesn’t necessarily need to be boiling. This will help your custard bake evenly. You don’t want to skip this step if you can help it.
Bake at 350 degrees for at least one hour or until it’s just set. It will be firm with a slight jiggle in the middle. Not a ripple, but a jiggle 🙂
Let your Butternut Squash Flan cool completely before covering the entire thing with plastic wrap and placing it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
When you are ready to serve, run a knife along the edges of the plan and invert onto a plate big enough to catch the delicious maple caramel.
Slice, serve and enjoy!
I like for most of the caramel to stay on the flan, but if you prefer yours to drop down the sides of the entire flan you can add up to 1/3 cup of water to your sauce.
I like for each slice to have a maple drizzle
You have got to try this recipe for Butternut Squash Flan. The butternut squash can easily be replaced with pumpkin in this recipe.
Butternut Squash Flan
for the caramel:
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup pure Grade A maple syrup
- pinch of salt
for the flan:
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk 14-ounce
- 1 can evaporated milk 12-ounce
- 1 cup pureed butternut squash
- ½ cup cream cheese 4 ounces
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the caramel, combine the sugar, maple syrup and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, swirling the pan (do not stir) to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved, cook at a low boil without swirling for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture turns a golden brown and reaches 230 degrees. Immediately pour into a 9 inch round cake pan (or pan of your choice). Set aside to cool while you make the flan.
For the flan , place the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, butternut squash, and cream cheese in the blender and blend on medium speed until smooth. Add in eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gently pour the mixture into the pan with the caramel making sure they do not combine.
Place the pan in a larger pan or roasting pan and fill with very hot tap water to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until the custard is just set. It will be firm but still jiggle in the middle; a knife inserted will come out clean. Remove the flan from the water bath, place on a cooling rack, and cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Run a knife around the edge of the flan. Turn out onto a large plate with a slight lip over the cake pan so your caramel doesn't run all over the place and flip them both, turning the flan out onto the plate. The caramel should stay on the flan mostly until you slice it. Slice, serve and enjoy!