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  • Writer's pictureJeff & Jo's

The Perfect and Easiest Thanksgiving Dessert!! Pumpkin Flan / Flan de Calabaza

With Thanksgiving upon us, we have you covered even for dessert! Pumpkin Flan is the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving meal! This recipe has the perfect combination of fall flavors, creaminess and just the right sweetness. The best part, you can make it in advance and still really impress your guests.



1 cup sugar


1 cup water

1 cinnamon stick

4 cloves


1 cup of pumpkin, cooked and smashed

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk

3 tbs suero

¼ cup sugar

4 oz cream cheese

4 eggs


The first thing we want to do to prepare this flan is to get that pumpkin cooking. We are starting with fresh calabaza, alternatively you could use canned squash, but I highly recommend starting with fresh pumpkin since all you have to do is boil it.

Turn on the stove on high and add about 4 cups of water to a medium size pan. Add the pumpkin and a dash of salt and mix to combine.

Let it boil for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft enough for a fork to easily pierce through it.

Then, turn off the stove and drain the pumpkin. Measure out one cup and set aside to cool.

Next, we are going to prepare the caramel. Add the sugar in an even layer to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the sugar at the bottom starts melting, begin stirring continuously with a heat-resistant spatula. As you are stirring, make sure to scrape down the sides of your pot, as well as dislodging anything that gets stuck to the bottom.

After a couple of minutes of stirring, the sugar will clump up and form hard, rock-like chunks. Press down on the larger clumps to break them up so they melt faster.

Continue stirring constantly, until the caramel is an even golden brown. This usually takes me 4 to 5 minutes.

Once your caramel is the right consistency, take it off the heat and then, while it is still hot, pour the caramel into a bundt pan in order to coat the bottom and sides of the pan.

To do this, hold the pan with oven mitts - it’s going to get really hot - and tilt the pan from side to side, until the caramel coats all sides of the pan.

Once you have finished spreading the caramel across the bottom of your bundt pan, set it aside to cool.

With the caramel ready, let’s move on to the suero or infused water. Turn on the stove on high. In a large heavy pot, combine the water, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Mix all the ingredients and let it boil for 5 minutes.

At the end of the 5 minutes, turn off the stove and strain the mixture. Set it aside to cool

We are now ready to move on to the flan mixture. In the food processor or blender, add the 1 cup of cooked pumpkin, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, 3 tablespoons of the infused water and blend until everything is well combined, about 15 - 20 seconds. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor.

Then, add the cream cheese and the sugar and blend until smooth. This will take approximately 2 minutes. You want to make sure that the cream cheese is well incorporated and there are no clumps to ensure a smooth finish to your flan. Once the mixture is smooth, you can taste the mixture and adjust if necessary for more sugar or infused water. Finally, add the eggs to the blender or food processor. Blend your mixture until just incorporated, approximately 10 seconds.

With the flan mixture ready, let’s add it to the prepared baking pan. Gently pour the flan mixture into the baking pan. Now you’re ready to bake your flan. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

You want to bake your flan in a bain marie, which is just a fancy name for a water bath. This helps prevent the flan from getting too hot, which would cause the eggs in your flan to overcook. To set up your bain marie, place a large, deep baking pan into the oven. Fill the pan with hot water to about ¼ of the way up the side.

Then, place the flan inside the baking pan and add more water to the baking pan until the water level is about half-way up the side of the bundt pan. Be really careful when adding the water making sure not to splash any water into the flan.

Bake for one hour or or until the top of the flan looks firm and it softly jiggles in the middle when shaken. Once cooked, remove your flan from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Once it reaches room temperature, cover it with aluminum foil and place it in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

To unmold, run a knife along all the edges of the bundt pan. Then, lightly shake the mold to make sure that the flan is loose. Next, grab your serving tray. The tray should be at least an inch larger than the bundt pan. Put the tray container on top of the baking mold and flip the flan onto the tray. Enjoy!

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