A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin flan’

A History with Gourmet

In Food, Media on May 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I grew up cooking out of Gourmet—one of many subjects that Susan and I bonded over at my very first magazine job. Susan was the managing editor, and I was the assistant to the editor in chief. But it was Susan who gave me my first break, lobbying to our editor to promote me to assistant editor. I owe much to Susan. And now I owe her even more. A couple weeks ago, three large boxes arrived outside my office doorstep.

Inside were carefully wrapped binders containing Susan’s collection of vintage Gourmet magazines, spanning from 1971 – 1985. I laid them all out on my office floor, and then spent the next several hours leafing through them. It’s extraordinary just how progressive the magazine was. Looking through the issue from the month/year I was born, I stopped on a page with Susan’s handwriting.

She had made notes next to a recipe for pumpkin flan—which must have made quite a splash at a dinner party in Chicago 30-some years ago. But what was truly wonderful, and just a little bit weird, was that the previous evening I’d made a pumpkin flan from Gourmet, November 2005 for a dinner party here in Los Angeles. Something tells me these magazines will be very happy in their new home.

Pumpkin Flan

In Food on February 24, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I know we have a ways till Thanksgiving, but I’m already sold on this year’s dessert. This past weekend—for my Turkey in Mole Poblano soiree—I liberated a leftover can of pumpkin purée, added it to a flan and topped with some pepitas toasted in ancho salt. MAGIC. I might make it again this weekend for the Oscars, any excuse really. This was the first time I’d made flan and the first time I’d made a dry caramel. Talk about weird science. You just heat plain cane sugar in a pan until it turns to caramel. (Obvi for some, revolutionary for the rest of us.)

The caramel gets poured into a souffle dish, and then the flan so that when you eventually turn it upside down, the caramel spills out and pools around the flan.

The flan itself is a snap—you probably already have most of the ingredients in your cupboard. Click HERE for recipe. The flavor and texture—absolute perfection. My flan was a little runny in the middle so next time I might cook a little longer than the recommended hour and 15 minutes, and make sure it has more than 6 hours chilling in the fridge to set. Oh, and with any dessert it passes the most important test of all: A++ leftover for breakfast the next morning with a cup of coffee.