RECIPE: Pumpkin Flan & The Difference Between Caramel Custard & Creme Caramel
October 3rd is National Caramel Custard Day.
Caramel custard is one of the numerous different types of custard. Crème caramel, also called flan, is another.
Because there is no official National Flan Day (Walmart declared one in 2012 as a product promotion), and because it’s pumpkin season, we’re sharing a Pumpkin Flan recipe from Seviche restaurant in Kentucky.
But first, let’s end the confusion between caramel custard and crème caramel/flan.
It’s easy to confuse the two by name (but not by sight—details follow). In fact, when we looked at caramel custard recipes and images online, almost all of them were crème caramel/flan.
Both use caramelized sugar (white sugar heated until it becomes a light brown liquid), but in different ways. Here’s how to distinguish them:
> Quiche is the best known of the savory tarts. Another term for spinach quiche is spinach flan; leek and bacon quiche is leek and bacon flan, etc.
This recipe uses a particular brand of pumpkin-infused syrup. If you can’t find it locally and don’t want to order it online, you should be able to find others, such as Monin and Torani. It’s the same syrup used to make pumpkin spice lattes.
If you don’t know the details, here’s the difference between evaporated milk and condensed milk.
Ingredients For 10 Four-Once Servings
1. MIX the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil for a few minutes until the sugar caramelizes.
2. POUR the caramelized sugar into aluminum molds; you can use any shape: oval, round or square. Spread the caramel on the bottom of the molds. Set aside at room temperature until hardened.
3. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Mix well the evaporated milk, condensed milk, egg yolks, pumpkin and vanilla by hand or blender. Pour through a fine mesh sieve. Gently pour the mixture on top of the caramel in the aluminum molds.
 Pumpkin flan at Seviche restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky (recipe below).
4. FILL the molds to about 1 to 1-1/4 inch of the top. Cover the molds individually with aluminum foil. Before baking the flan, place the molds on a larger baking pan and add hot water to this pan until half way up the molds. Bake for about 45 minutes. Let cool then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
5. TO SERVE: Run a thin knife around the edges of the mold to loosen the flan. Place a plate on top of the mold and quickly turn upside down to position the golden brown caramel on top.
THE HISTORY OF CUSTARD