(makes 8 flans)
This flan tastes like a rich, custardy version of pumpkin pie. If you have leftover pumpkin, try making a pumpkin smoothie with yogurt, milk, a few sweet spices like cinnamon, ginger and cloves, and a drizzle of sweetener.
3 large eggs, preferably omega-3 enriched
1-1/4 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons maple syrup
2-1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups 1% milk, heated until very hot
Ground nutmeg, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F with an oven rack in the center position. Coat eight 6-ounce custard cups with canola cooking oil spray and set them in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs slightly with a small whisk. Add the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, canola oil, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt and beat until blended thoroughly. Mix in the hot milk until blended. There will be 4 cups of liquid. Pour 1/2 cup of the flan mixture into each of the custard cups.
Bring about 3 cups of water to a light simmer on top of the stove (you can use a tea kettle for this). Place the baking pan on the pulled-out oven rack and carefully pour the hot water into the baking pan until it comes up to the level of the custard inside the cups.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until just set around the edges but still a little loose in the center; the center will jiggle a little when shaken.
Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Remove the cups from the water bath with tongs and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, until chilled. Serve cold, garnished with ground nutmeg.
Nutritional information (per flan)
Total fat: 5 grams
Saturated fat: 1.5 grams
Cholesterol: 110 grams
Sodium: 220 milligrams
Total carbohydrates: 24 grams
Sugars: 18 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Protein: 6 grams
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Recipe from "Flavor First: Cut Calories and Boost Flavor with 75 Delicious, All-Natural Recipes" by Cheryl Forberg, RD (Rodale 2011)