I'm apparently behind the times, because this magnificent starter or hors d'œuvre was already blogged by members of French Fridays with Dorie last month. C'est la vie! This cookbook is now a part of my collection and I plan on trying many of the recipes in the New Year.
For our group, it made its debut at Alec & Nina's Christmas Party, alongside Kai's Scallop and Crab Stuffed Shrimp, Nina's Asparagus, Prosciutto and Burrata platter, Chris' Filet of Beef Wellington, Carmen's Onion Tart, and Alec's Thomas Keller Fried Chicken.
The evening was stellar, with the company, extravagant food, fine wine, and hilarious version of Truth or Dare around the fire pit (instigated by Jack and Sandra). I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. You had to be there, and drunk, to appreciate the humor! John could have used a bit more alcohol in his system when Jack was dared to lick his face, and Kai could have used a bit less alcohol in his system when he demonstrated laying a large egg. I'll just leave it at that and share the flan...(although this would have been a really exciting blog post if we had remembered our camera)...okay, I also had to pretend to be a stripper pole while Sandra danced around me ;-)
Serves 12 (using twelve, four-ounce ramekins)
Adapted from Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours
1 can (29 ounces) pure canned pumpkin
4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
8 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled
1 cup toasted walnuts, broken into large pieces or coarsely chopped
Sour cream, creme fraiche, honey, or maple syrup, for garnish
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F, and bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Butter twelve, 4-ounce ramekins. Line the bottom of a large roasting pan with a double layer of paper towels, and place the ramekins in the pan.
Combine the pumpkin, eggs, yolks and cream in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the custard between the ramekins, and then sprinkle the crumbled Gorgonzola over the top of the custards. With the tip of a knife, poke down some of the Gorgonzola crumbles into the custard. Sprinkle the tops of the custard with toasted walnuts.
Carefully pour the boiling water into the roasting pan so it comes about half way up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake the flans 35-40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out almost clean. Transfer the roasting pan to a rack and allow the flans to cool in the water bath until warm. Remove from the water bath and keep lightly covered, at room temperature, for up to 6 hours before serving.
Serve warm or at room temperature, with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche, or a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
The flans can be served in the ramekins or inverted onto a plate. If you do invert them, carefully turn the flans back over so the toasted walnuts and crumbles of Gorgonzola show on the top.
These were divine as a starter or hors d'œuvre, but would also make a nice side dish, or a light meal paired with a salad and crusty bread.
Note: I doubled the original recipe and used 4 ounce ramekins instead of 6 ounce ramekins.