In this recipe I use the classic French flan recipe in which I have added precooked 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.
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 boiling unsalted water. I prefer steaming because then squash is not throat with water and we need it well drained for this recipe.
I use brown 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 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.