A delicious, quick and easy silky dessert mainly made with butternut squash purée, without flour – thus gluten free – and without any fat.
What is a flan in French cuisine?
Flan is a traditional dish of French home cooking. It can be both sweet or savory. Flan can be also described as a crustless quiche, which means that it is made of the same ingredients and technique as the filling batter of quiche when it’s a savory dish. In this recipe, I use the classic French flan recipe in which I have added pre-cooked butternut squash purée and vanilla.
For a perfect flan, the recipe is very simple: just combine beaten whole eggs with milk and/or cream until smooth. If you add flour or corn starch, then it becomes what we call in French a clafoutis. In the sweet version of flan sugar is added. One last tip, oven temperature should not go over 185°C.
Information on the ingredients of the recipe
The butternut squash purée gives all the structure to this dessert, so no need to add flour or butter. That would add unnecessary heaviness. Butternut squash can easily be replaced by any type of squash, but I do prefer butternut to pumpkin for example because it gives a creamier smooth texture to this dessert. You can cook butternut squash in advance, and even freeze it. You may, for example, prepare a whole butternut squash (or 2), use one part for this recipe and freeze the other for future use or prepare a soup in parallel. And vice versa. To cook butternut squash, 2 ways: steam or boil unsalted water. I prefer steaming because then squash is not throat with water and we need it well-drained for this recipe.
I use ran sugar that brings, along with vanilla, an almost caramelized touch. Adjust quantity depending on whether you like your desserts very sweet or not. I tend to prefer this one with only 100 gr of sugar.
For vanilla, several solutions:
- Split longwise a vanilla pod, scrape with the back of a knife its contents
- Split longwise a vanilla pod, dip it in the milk that has been heated a bit, and let it infuse.
- Use vanilla sugar by reducing the amount of sugar.
- Use liquid or powdered vanilla extract.
I like powder vanilla abstract and use it a lot for this recipe but adjust quantity depending on your taste.
I haven’t tried with vegetal milk yet but it should work as well.
Butternut Squash and Vanilla Flan
- 400 gr cooked butternut squash purée
- 4 eggs
- 100 to 120 raw sugar according to your taste, more or less sweet
- 100 ml milk
Cook butternut squash
- Start by preparing the butternut squash purée. Peel squash and remove the seeds. Cut into pieces and cook in boiling water (or steam) until smooth, for about 15 to 20 min according to the size.
- Drain well. Mix or crush it with the back of a fork.
Prepare the flan
- Preheat your oven to 180 °C.
- In a bowl, or using a food processor, whisk the whole eggs together with raw sugar and vanilla.
- Add milk and butternut squash purée and combine.
- Grease a baking pan. Pour in the preparation and bake at 180 °C for 30 to 40 minutes.
Bon appétit !