Mexican sweet pumpkin flan

Adam Liaw
Adam Liaw's sweet pumpkin flan.
Adam Liaw's sweet pumpkin flan. Photo: William Meppem

Flan is a very traditional Mexican dessert. This pumpkin version is both simple and delicious.


• 400g pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks

• 1 can evaporated milk

• 5 eggs

• 1 can condensed milk

• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

• 1/2 cup sugar


1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and boil the pumpkin for 15 minutes, until tender. Drain well and blend to a purée with the evaporated milk.

2. Beat the eggs and whisk in the condensed milk, puréed pumpkin and vanilla extract. Try not to let too much air into the mixture or it will create bubbles in the flan.

3. Heat your oven to 180°C.

4. Heat the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until it becomes a dark caramel. This should take 8-12 minutes, depending on the stove. (It takes a while but you have to watch it pretty closely after about the 7-minute mark to make sure it doesn't turn too quickly and burn.)

5. Pour the caramel into the base of a 20-centimetre round baking pan (preferably ceramic) and let it harden.

6. Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the caramel. Place the baking pan on top of a wet tea towel inside a larger baking dish in the oven. Pour boiling water into the larger dish until it comes halfway up the side of the round pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until the flan is barely cooked through to the centre. Check doneness by tapping the edge of the pan. The tapping will create a ripple on the top of the custard where it is not set.

6. Allow the flan to cool to room temperature, cover with foil, then refrigerate for at least an hour until chilled and well set. Run a knife or spatula around the edge of the flan and turn it out onto a large serving plate. Slice and serve.