I have a confession to make. I am not a fan of pumpkin pie. There - I said it! I know, I know... how can I not love this staple fall dessert? Well, I'm not quite sure. I like pumpkin. I like pie. I just don't like pumpkin and pie together in one.
Now that I have come out with this breaking news, let me tell you how I survive fall dinners without pumpkin pie...
One of my favorite desserts my mom makes is pudim de leite, or caramel flan. This is a staple dessert in Brazil, and I think I'm safe to assume all of Latin America. It's a no-fuss dessert to make, requiring only a few accessible ingredients to be blended and baked in a water bath. So, I decided to combine the flavors of America's beloved pumpkin pie with the delectable caramel flan.
There are tons of flan recipes out there. Some use heavy cream, regular milk, powdered milk, condensed milk, or a combination of these. In most Brazilian flan recipes, condensed milk is always present. So, for my pumpkin flan I combined condensed milk, a tiny bit of 2% milk, eggs, pumpkin puree, and some spices.
I have a mild obsession with individual desserts (I don't like to share), so I decided to bake the flans in individual ramekin. After the flans baked in the oven, I refrigerated them overnight - by the way, you can make these up to three days ahead! When I was ready I popped them out the ramekin onto a dish, and the caramel flowed right over the flan.
I am taking these to my mom's house tonight for Halloween dinner. My mom loves, loves, loves pumpkin pie, so I am excited to see what she thinks about the flan. I taste-tested one, of course, and thought it was perfect! It has all the earthy flavors of a pumpkin pie, in a creamy custardy flan!