Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flans - French Fridays with Dorie
I was looking forward to making these for Thanksgiving. I like pumpkin, love Gorgonzola, and think that walnuts make almost anything better. To my taste, they weren't as wonderful as I hoped. I think they needed a little drizzle of something sweet to bring out the pumpkin flavor and to serve as a counterbalance to the cheese. But they were pretty good, and dead easy to make.
Any time that all you need to do is dump a bunch of ingredients in a food processor and whirr for a few seconds--that's easy. Here, the ingredients were a can of pumpkin, eggs, and cream.
My ramekins are bigger than standard ones. They come with lids, which is good and bad--good because they look cute and are easy to stack and carry; bad because the rim for the lid makes eating whatever's inside a little tricky. My filling only came up to about the halfway mark on these ramekins rather than almost to the brim as in the picture. Plenty of room to put the cheese and toasted walnuts on top. (I'm also cooking out of Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Whenever she uses toasted walnuts in a recipe, she makes you rub off the skins, or as much of the skins as you can get off. I felt like a scofflaw not rubbing off the skins here.)
Boiling water goes into a pan that's been lined with paper towels (to keep the ramekins from slip-sliding around the pan). After about 35 minutes, a knife inserted into the pumpkin custard came out clean or nearly so, and the flans were ready for dinner.
They got good reviews at the dinner table, but I did notice that not everyone finished the pumpkin custard, although everyone ate the cheese and walnuts. My fear that the cheese would be too strong for some people proved to be unfounded.
In a serving note, Dorie says that "the American" in her likes to eat these with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. I think that's just what they needed.