Kalabasa Leche Flan (Pumpkin Custard Flan Dessert)

  • 2-3 cups fresh kalabasa (pumpkin), peeled and chopped
  • 2 cans (600 mL) condensed milk
  • 1 can (380 mL) evaporated milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon powder or vanilla extract
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tsp. calamansi lime juice

  1. Combine the water, calamansi lime juice and brown sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Lower the heat to simmer and let the sugar dissolve on its own. Do not stir. Tilt the pan to spread out the liquid. Turn off the heat when the color begins to turn amber and the syrup thickens into honey-like consistency.
  3. Pour about three tablespoons of the warm caramelized sugar into each llanera or tin molds and tilt to evenly coat the bottom. This should be done quickly as the caramel will begin to harden as it cools. Set aside.
  4. Boil the chopped pumpkins for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain the cooked pumpkin and mash using a potato grinder or puree in a food processor or blender. This should yield 2 cups of pureed pumpkin. Set aside to cool.
  5. In a saucepan, combine the condensed and evaporated milk. Set on a very low heat just enough to make the mixture warm. Do not simmer.
  6. In a mixing bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and cinnamon or vanilla.
  7. Gradually fold in half of the warm milk into the egg mixture. This will temper the egg and will prevent it from curdling.
  8. Fold in the pumpkin the remaining milk and gradually stir to remove the lumps and lessen the thickness of the puree.
  9. Gradually fold in the pumpkin mixture over the egg mixture. Slowly stir in a circular motion just enough to combine. Do not beat.
  10. Slowly pour the custard mixture in a fine sieve or strainer to filter and smoothen the liquid, carefully avoiding air bubbles to form.
  11. Ladle the mixture in individual llaneras or tin molds lined with caramel syrup. Cover the top with aluminum foils. Place in a steamer or double broiler and steam for 20 to 35 minutes. Test the doneness of the flan by poking a wooden toothpick at the middle. It is done if the stick comes out almost clean.
  12. Remove the cooked pumpkin custard from the steamer and allow to cool at room temperature. Refrigerate to chill overnight to allow the flan to set completely.
  13. Run a knife around the edge of the custard to loosen it from the mold. Carefully invert the mold on the plate to transfer the content. The custard should fall off easily on the plate and liquefied caramel syrup should run down the sides. Top with fruit jam or serve plain. Enjoy!

**Yields 6-8 medium-sized (6x3x1-inch) tin molds

  1. You may need first to fold half of the milk mixture into the blended pumpkin (do not skip this process) to lessen the viscosity of the puree before slowly adding it into eggs. This will also prevent the eggs from being stiff as heavy beating or mixing may cause air bubbles to form.
  2. Do not overcook as it may cause the flan to become watery and not set properly even when cooled.
  3. You may also use small molds or any heat-proof ramekins as container for the flans.