If pumpkin pie married caramel custard, their offspring would look like this pumpkin flan. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn. (c)2009, Lucinda Scala Quinn. Mikkel Vang, photographer. Used by permission of Artisan Books, artisanbooks.com.

Martha Stewart Living, December 2009


Recipe Summary



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • Put the granulated sugar in a 9-inch cake pan or pie plate, set on the center rack in the oven, and bake until the sugar is caramel colored, 8 to 12 minutes. Swirl to cover the bottom of the pie plate with the caramel.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in pumpkin puree. In a medium bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, and vanilla. Thoroughly blend the egg mixture into the pumpkin puree.

  • Set the pie plate in a large roasting pan, and pour the custard over the caramel. Carefully pour enough hot tap water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the pie plate. Bake until the custard is set, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool and chill in the refrigerator. Run a knife around the outside edge of the flan and invert it onto a rimmed plate. Cut into wedges or scoop and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.


Reviews (9)

211 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 38
  • 4 star values: 72
  • 3 star values: 71
  • 2 star values: 24
  • 1 star values: 6
Rating: 5 stars
I agree with other comments about caramelizing the sugar in the oven (that portion of the recipe needs a rewrite). I abandoned the oven, in favor of the stovetop. Other than that, it worked well. I made it the night before, so that it was nicely chilled for dessert the next evening. Everyone loved it.
Rating: 2 stars
Carmelizing the sugar in the oven just doesn't work. We gave up after 15 minutes and found a much more straightforward way to do it on YouTube. We moved the sugar to a heavy duty saucepan and put it on the stovetop on a high heat setting. The sugar melted in minutes and we quickly moved it back to the pie plate and swirled it til it covered the bottom. Don't bother with the over to melt the sugar.
Rating: Unrated
I meant watch your flan.
Rating: Unrated
My gluten-free son loves this dessert during the holidays.Carmelizing the sugar step definitely takes longer than 8 to 12 minutes,and my flan was set in 50 minutes,and I proved it with inserting a knife in the center half way down,and it came out clean,so what your flan;it may be ready before the 80 minutes directions.
Rating: Unrated
I carmelized 1 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup water. During this I put together the ingredients. Pouring carmelized sugar into 6 large ramekins, I added the custard on top. Added the ramekins in a pan for the water bath and cooked for 1 hour at 350. The individual ramekins were easier to serve and came out beautifully. Remember to use eggs and half and half at room temp for fluffier custard.
Rating: Unrated
How easily does the flan come out of the pan? Does the pan need to be treated first?
Rating: Unrated
It took longer than 10 minutes to caramelize the sugar in the oven, but it's a much easier and safer way. The texture and flavor of this flan was perfect. Loved it!!
Rating: Unrated
As soon as I saw the recipe in last year's issue I knew I was going to make it. I've never been a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but I felt like I was missing out on a traditional Thanksgiving staple. This flan seemed the perfect compromise. It turned out amazing considering I've never made a flan before! The recipe is super simple to follow and I turned out a flan with perfect flavor and texture. I am definitely making it again!
Rating: Unrated
This was a delicious dessert but not what I expected... First of all, it took way longer than 8-12 minutes to caramelize the sugar this way. After 30-40 minutes, I raised the temperature to 375