For years, Halloween has been a fun-filled holiday for both children and adults.
In Mexico, a version of this holiday is observed on Nov. 1-2. These “Days of the Dead” celebrate the folkloric belief that the souls of deceased relatives return to visit.
For two days, family members prepare for the arrival by constructing small altars in their homes. These altars are decorated with flowers, candles and photographs.
Pumpkin Flan, a variation on the classic Spanish custard, combines elements of the two traditions. Made with evaporated milk and canned pumpkin, its golden-amber color sets a warm mood for a chilly evening.
Recipe from the California Milk Advisory Board.
1 (16-ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk, undiluted
1-2/3 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
8 orange twists or maraschino cherries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In large bowl, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, 1/3 cup of the sugar, the eggs, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Beat until well blended; set aside.
In large skillet, cook remaining sugar over medium-high heat, stirring until melted and golden brown. Immediately pour syrup into 8 (4-ounce) custard cups, dividing evenly. Place cups into a baking pan and fill with pumpkin mixture. Pour hot water into pan until filled to half the depth of the cups. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean; remove from oven. Cool and run a knife around edge of cup. Invert on serving plates.
In small bowl, whip cream with powdered sugar and remaining vanilla until firm. Top each flan with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with orange twist or cherry.
Yield: 8 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 290 calories, 6 grams protein, 148 milligrams calcium, 50 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fat (28 percent fat calories), 1 gram dietary fiber, 104 milligrams cholesterol, 77 milligrams sodium.
Note: Flan may also be baked in a 9-inch pie plate for 60 to 65 minutes and cut into wedges for serving.