Happy new year! How did you celebrate? We started things off with prosecco and ichigo-shu (so yummy) and then spent the rest of the night at a friend's place, nice and low-key, just how I like my NYEs! I'm not big on resolutions, but I did make a few this year--eat more vegetables, procrastinate less, be less grumpy. And I will take my additional vegetables in any form I can get, so I think that this pumpkin flan qualifies for my first resolution VERY WELL, THANK YOU!
I was trying to reproduce a pumpkin pudding I'd had before at a Japanese restaurant in midtown (Katsu-Hama, actually. One of the things I miss about midtown)--there, it comes in a wedge and is a fairly firm textured but very smooth pudding. I think they might actually use kabocha squash (the texture of kabocha puree is drier, which might account for why their pudding was so firm and mine was so collapse-y) versus the canned pumpkin puree that I used. I used this recipe from Tales from a Tokyo Kitchen (a great blog!) and baked mine in a bain marie instead of steaming. Also, I had to use a variety of molds as I (shockingly) do not own any actual pudding cups. I ended up using two small bowls, a mini milk bottle, and a canning jar:
Actually, because the pudding was so soft, the jar kind of worked out well! No worries about turning it out, just make sure you scoop all the way down to get the caramel sauce. I definitely need to experiment with this a bit, because the texture of my pudding was not smooth enough and had lots of air bubbles in it (I'm guessing temperature too high; maybe I will try to work out a steaming device next time). Be that as it may, it certainly TASTED very close to what I was trying to recreate! And I love the caramel sauce, although it's hard to watch it caramelize based on color because of the maple syrup. Anyway, it was good enough for a first try, especially since I've been sick for the last 3 days; I am so sick of tea and SO HAPPY to eat something that's not congee!
Anyhow, so next time--kabocha squash, steam vs. bake, and strain strain strain!