Mr. Artifact had a birthday and asked that I make him a pumpkin flan that was more savory than sweet and that might be keto friendly. I wasn’t impressed with what I could find on the internet. The traditional flans were too sweet, and the keto flans used coconut milk and large amounts of stevia. While I’m not opposed to coconut milk, I wanted a more classic taste with real cream. And, to tell the truth, I rather dislike the metallic aftertaste of stevia.
So, what I improvised was a classic flan using monk fruit extract and some honey (which you could omit and just add more monk fruit extract to make it truly keto). I roasted a Japanese sugar pumpkin and used that for the pumpkin puree, but honestly you can use any orange winter squash or the canned variety (organic is best). Now, I did not coat the bottom of my mold with caramel, so perhaps one cannot call this a true flan. (Oh well. I think you could drizzle some honey on the bottom to approximate that, but I did not do it.)
This recipe made 2 large servings in my silicon Bundt forms. It would make 4 small Pyrex cups or 2-3 smallish soufflé cups.
- ¾ C cream (I used raw)
- ½ C whole milk (I used raw)
- ¼ t salt
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 9 drops of monk fruit extract
- 2 T honey (substitute monk fruit extract to achieve the sweetness you desire)
- Spices: ¼ t nutmeg, ¼ t cinnamon, a dash of ground cloves, a dash of ground dried ginger
- ½ C pumpkin puree
- 4 egg yolks
- Spray coconut oil
- Heat oven to 325 F.
- Spray your ramekins/molds with coconut oil. Set aside.
- Heat cream, milk, salt, vanilla, monk fruit extract, honey, and spices. Do not boil, but bring to steamy temp. Take off heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the pumpkin puree until smooth.
- Slowly add the warm milk to the pumpkin/egg yolk mixture, mixing just a small amount before fully combining.
- Once combined, you can strain it to make it smoother (if you want to make Escoffier happy). I did not, and it was plenty tasty and attractive.
- Put your molds into a bain marie and place on your oven rack. (You are doing this to prevent the water from slopping into your filled molds and ruining everything.) Fill molds with the pumpkin puree. Then fill your bain marie up to half way the height of your molds with hot water. Slide carefully into the oven.
- Bake at 325 F for 25-30 minutes. (Depending upon your container, you may want more or less time. See note below*.)
- Remove when just slightly jiggly.
- Refrigerate overnight and serve cold after you unmold it.
The verdict? Mr. Artifact gave it two thumbs up.
*I confess that I may have overcooked it (too long or too high for the smallish forms I had)–note the little air bubbles in the picture. However, the taste was still superb.