Vanilla Bean Pumpkin Flan with Golden Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 8 servings
Pumpkin Flan adapted from Epicurios
  • 2 cups sugar, divided (if you have vanilla sugar, use that, and only use half a vanilla bean in the recipe)
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5 whole large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 (15-ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin (1¾ cups)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Golden pumpkin seed brittle
  • 1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds, rinsed well, dried, and roasted, or pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds. They're green and can be found in most supermarkets and come already roasted.)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
Make caramel:
  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a round 9 to 10-inch soufflé dish or 9 to 10-inch glass round cake pan, at least 2-inches deep, in oven while preparing the caramel.
  2. Cook 1 cup sugar in a dry 2 quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, untouched, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts and turns a golden caramel color. Do not let it darken; stop when it hits a medium golden brown. With oven mitts, remove hot dish from oven and immediately pour caramel into the dish, tilting it to cover the bottom and sides. (Keep oven on.) Keep tilting and swirling as the caramel cools and thickens enough to coat, then let harden, which will happen pretty fast..
Make pumpkin flan
  1. In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, add vanilla bean scrapings to cream and milk and bring to a simmer over medium heat, then remove from heat. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolk, and remaining 1 cup of sugar until combined, then whisk in pumpkin, vanilla, spices, and salt. Add a little of the hot cream mixture in a slow, thin stream to the egg mixture (this is tempering), whisking non-stop to prevent scrambled eggs, then, again, in a slow, thin stream, pour the rest of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking non-stop.
  2. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, scraping with a rubber spatula to force/push it through while keeping out any scrambled egg bits, then stir the strained custard to combine. Pour custard over caramel in dish, then bake in a water bath until flan is golden brown on top and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) Remove dish from water bath and transfer to a rack to cool. Chill flan, covered, until cold, at least 6 to 7 hours.
  3. To release the flan , carefully run a sharp knife around the edges of the dish, being careful that the knife does not cut into the flan.
  4. b]Now, here is a trick I learned from Jacques Pepin. When unmolding/releasing the flan from the dish after it has chilled, pour all the caramel syrup into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of cold water. The caramel syrup will thicken up beautifully! Pour the thickened caramel syrup back over the flan, and serve.[/b]
Make golden pumpkin seed brittle
  1. Line a baking sheet with foil; butter foil.
  2. In a saucepan, cook sugar and water over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until sugar melts and syrup is a light amber color.
  3. Stir in pumpkin seeds or pepitas, then cook 1 minute, stirring. Immediately pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet, spreading with a fork; cool completely. Break into pieces. It should be clear or semi-clear like you see in the plated photo above.
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at