Ina Garten, patron saint of home cooking who just released her 10th cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey ($21; amazon.com), is here to enhance your Thanksgiving dinner menu. Her recipes are famous for taking dishes you know and love and making them even better, preserving comfort and familiarity while elevating the taste experience. Case in point: This addictive Pumpkin Flan with Maple Caramel Dessert. Sure, you could serve a store-bought pumpkin pie for dessert like always, but why do that when Garten is here to help you make something a little more memorable? “It’s a fabulous thing to serve because it’s refrigerated, so you can make it days in advance, leave it in the fridge, and then just turn it over,” she says. So it's delicious and convenient? We're sold, Ms. Garten.
1/2 teaspoons pure maple extract, such as Boyajian's
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
How to Make It
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. For caramel, combine sugar, maple syrup, and 1/3 cup water in a small, deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, swirling the pan (don't stir!) to dissolve the sugar. Cook at a low boil, undisturbed, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture turns a golden brown and registers 230°F on a candy thermometer. Off the heat, swirl in fleur de sel, and immediately pour into an 8-by-2-inch round cake pan. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place condensed milk, evaporated milk, canned pumpkin, and mascarpone in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-low speed until smooth. Whisk in eggs, vanilla, maple extract, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
4. Gently pour pumpkin mixture over the caramel so they don't combine.
5. Place cake pan in a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with enough hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the cake pan.
6. Bake on the center rack for 70 to 75 minutes until the custard is just set (firm but jiggling slightly in the middle; a knife inserted into the center should come out clean).
7. Remove flan from the water bath, place on a cooling rack, and let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.
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