Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flans {FFwD}

It happens every Fall. I get on a pumpkin kick. Actually, I love pumpkin enough that I cook and bake with it year-round. But there’s something about the weather changing around this time of year that always sends me to the store to stock up on canned pumpkin and has me scouring the Internet and my cookbooks for untried pumpkin recipes.

So, when I got my copy of Around My French Table, it was only natural that I turned to the Index and started looking at the pumpkin recipes. This recipe caught my eye right away. And I knew I couldn’t wait for French Fridays with Dorie to make it. So on a recent weekday evening, we had Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flans for dinner.

This recipe is easy enough to whip up after work. The ingredients consist of pumpkin, eggs, heavy cream, salt, pepper, gorgonzola, and walnuts. You mix the first three ingredients in the food processor, season with salt and pepper, then pour the mixture into buttered custard dishes.

The recipe says that it makes six flans, and Dorie writes that she uses 6-ounce custard cups. My cups are also six ounces, but, as you can see, the custard mixture only filled four of them. I’m not sure why my results differed from the recipe.

Another difficulty I had with the recipe, besides the custard cup issue, was trying to balance the salt. After adding salt and pepper to the custard, I tasted it, added a bit more salt, and tasted again. It still seemed to be slightly under-salted, but I knew the gorgonzola would be salty, and I didn’t want to overdo it. I did sprinkle the flans with fleur de sel before putting them in the oven, both for appearance and for that final burst of flavor.

After filling the cups and adding the gorgonzola and walnuts, I baked the flans in a water bath for 35 minutes, until the custard was set and the cheese melted and bubbly.

Next came the nearly impossible task of waiting for the flans to come to just-warm temperature before eating them. I drizzled the tops with a touch of honey before serving.

My wife, who is not a big fan of French cooking (at least not yet, but I’m working on it), initially said she didn’t want a flan, but wanted to take a taste of mine. One taste was all it took, and she was hooked. Even though she had just had a few pieces of pizza, she ate her flan and declared it one of the best things she had ever tasted. And I would have to agree.

The mild flavor of the pumpkin custard paired perfectly with the tang of the gorgonzola and the slightly sweet finish of the walnuts. The salt level was perfect, and I was glad I had given it that final sprinkle of fleur de sel.

This is another winning recipe from Dorie’s new book. And I’m one step closer to making a French food lover out of my wife.

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54 Comments

  1. November 9, 2010 at 10:34 am

    i am so excited to make these, and glad to hear they are great! thanks for the tip on the honey drizzle–mmmm!

  2. onewetfoot said,

    November 6, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    I’m really looking forward to making these now – I’ve made all the other November recipes, but I think this one will be the most fun.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 6, 2010 at 10:48 pm

      I’ve made them all, too. This one was great. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Flourchild said,

    November 6, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Yum, it looks amazing! Im glad your wife fell in love with it too! I will SO try your honey drizzle!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 6, 2010 at 10:27 am

      Everyone who has tried the honey drizzle has loved it. Even some people who didn’t like the flans at first changed their minds once it had a hint of sweetness. Enjoy!

  4. Lana said,

    November 6, 2010 at 2:59 am

    I could have written your post, and you could have written mine:) True, I had a personal story as an intro, but our experiences were pretty much the same: the salt issue, four instead of six servings, the honey, the balance of taste.

    My husband was not looking forward to trying them, although he loved the way they looked. In the end, he was scraping the bits left from children’s ramekins!

    I agree with you with pumpkin behaving quite nicely in savory dishes and this flan just proves that we are right:)

    Now you have me intrigued by that stuffed pumpkin (I also read Dorie’s tweet this morning).

    • gaaarp said,

      November 6, 2010 at 10:57 am

      Thanks, Lana. But you give me too much credit. Your posts read like classic literature. Beautiful.

      Interesting that we had such similar experiences with this recipe. I’ll be anxious to hear if the same thing holds true for the stuffed pumpkin if we both end up trying it. I have to buy a new pumpkin, as my last one ended up as a Jack O’Lantern!

  5. Roy said,

    November 6, 2010 at 1:33 am

    I had the same problem with the recipe only making four flans and not six…glad to see it wasn’t just me measuring incorrectly. 🙂

    • gaaarp said,

      November 6, 2010 at 10:33 am

      I think I figured out the problem. My flans say they are six ounces, but I wanted to check, as they looked like they might be larger than that. I measured a Pyrex custard cup, which was exactly six ounces. Then I checked the flans; they measured six ounces up to the point at which the rim flares out.

  6. November 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    A drizzle of honey was what I used as well… I was pleasantly surprised with these, as I really wasn’t sure if I’d like them or not. The combination of flavors was perfect!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 6, 2010 at 10:28 am

      Isn’t it fun to try something you’re not sure you’ll like and be pleasantly surprised?

  7. LaJuana said,

    November 5, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I’m SO grateful for your post! I baked mine this evening and having never had pumpkin in a savory dish, I had no idea what to expect and was less than impressed with the finished dish. I used goat cheese because my local grocery store doesn’t carry gorgonzols. I kept meaning to stop at another store while working out of town but it didn’t happen. When I read about your drizzle of honey, I thought, “couldn’t hurt” so I went in and drizzled a bit on the remainder of the flan I’d been tasting since baking, a bite here and there at various temperatures waiting on it to get wonderful. “Wonderful” finally showed up at the same time as the honey did! Oh my! What a difference it made! It took it right over the top! And oh yes, I did add a few flakes of fleur de sel… Without your post I’d been so disappointed…love that this group is taking me to a new level! Thanks for your help in doing just that!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 8:25 pm

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it — even if it took a while to get there. The honey really did add a lot to the flavor. It was still savory, but had a nice bit of sweetness to it, too.

  8. dorie said,

    November 5, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    When you convert your wife to a recipe the whole cheers! Your flans look great.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 7:31 pm

      Thanks, Dorie. I really loved this recipe!!

  9. Rebecca said,

    November 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Ohhh I can’t WAIT to try this. It looks so beautiful!!!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks! I hope you like it.

  10. November 5, 2010 at 10:57 am

    LOVE the honey idea! Wow. I was leery but now I can’t wait to make these. I did the chicken but that doesn’t seem as ‘sexy’ as these do to me now.
    Trevor Sis. Boom.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks, Trevor. This one was really good. But then again, so was the chicken!

  11. StephIrey said,

    November 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Your flans look perfect! I am really looking forward to trying this recipe. Glad you’re slowly converting your wife to the ways of the French!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm

      Moi aussi! She has liked everything I’ve made from AMFT so far.

  12. Candy said,

    November 5, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Glad you enjoyed this one! Yours look great!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm

      Thanks, Candy!

  13. evilcakelady said,

    November 5, 2010 at 1:39 am

    the drizzle of honey is brilliant! i can’t wait to make these!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm

      Thanks! I hope you like them as much as I did.

  14. m said,

    November 5, 2010 at 12:18 am

    I was a little hesitant about trying these, but after reading your post you’ve convinced me! Nice post.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm

      Glad I could “help”! I hope you like it!

  15. Monica said,

    November 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed it and I love the orange ramekins!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks. Sorry to hear they weren’t a big hit for you.

  16. T.T. Tran said,

    November 4, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Thank you for the heads up about the fleur de sel. I have a small container that has been beckoning me to use and now I have the perfect opportunity. Your flan looks wonderful–they make me want to make the dish right now.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 7:07 pm

      Thanks. I find myself reaching for fleur de sel, white pepper, Gruyere cheese, and cream (lots of cream) while making these recipes.

  17. KY said,

    November 4, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Looks delicious! (But I still can’t bring myself to eat Gorgonzola!)

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 7:09 pm

      Maybe you should try goat cheese. Or mozzarella, if you’re not into goats, either). 😉

  18. Anne Marie said,

    November 4, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I made the pumpkin stuffed with everything, delicious, easy. I used my leftover potato bread.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 4, 2010 at 10:10 pm

      I really want to try that recipe. I even bought the pumpkin for it, but my mom carved it into a Jack O’Lantern!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 7:10 pm

      I heard Dorie on NPR this evening, talking about the pumpkin stuffed with everything good recipe. Now I REALLY want to make it!!

  19. November 4, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    I can’t wait to make these flans. At first I thought I’d skip them, since I’m not a huge blue cheese or Gorgonzola fan, but husband and kids are, and they said they’d like to try them. Yours are beautiful, and the way you describe them really makes me want to bake them soon.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 4, 2010 at 10:06 pm

      Good call on making these. I think your family will like them. Who knows, you might even like them, too.

  20. Cher said,

    November 4, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I am excited & a little nervous to try this recipe. I am glad to hear that this was a pretty straightforward recipe. It takes a little bit of the angst away.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 4, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      It’s really not at all difficult. And the results are worth it!

  21. Cakelaw said,

    November 4, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on this recipe. It sounds nice, but the photo in the book scared me off, so it is good to hear that these taste good.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 4, 2010 at 8:00 pm

      This recipe has been receiving mixed reviews, but I really liked it. Savory applications are great for pumpkin.

  22. Kayte said,

    October 3, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I don’t know…the combination of these flavors isn’t whistling Dixie to me at all. I think it looks pretty, but the taste aspect is a mystery to me. That said, I have trusted J’s opinion on things before, so will be eager to see if I fall in love with it all as well. I am just recently a pumpkin convert on a very limited basis…i.e. Di sent some pumpkin cookies in my SB package last month and those were to DIE for!! Am hoping to try a few more pumpkin things this fall. This might might be one of them. Thanks for the process photos and tips.

    • gaaarp said,

      October 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm

      You really should try pumpkin in a savory application, if not this recipe than another that uses it as a vegetable rather than the base for a dessert.

      We’re doing pumpkin whoopie pies for the FB Artisan Bakers BOM this month. I haven’t made them yet, but it’s a KAF recipe, so I’m sure they will be great.

  23. Good Bite In said,

    October 1, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Ooh I was drooling over this recipe in the book as I was making my Gougeres last night … looks delicious! Look forward to seeing you Gougeres.

  24. dorie said,

    September 29, 2010 at 7:02 am

    The flans look lovely and my husband would give you the thumbs-up for drizzling a little honey over them.

    And I’ve got my money on you being able to make a convert of your wife : – ).

    • gaaarp said,

      September 29, 2010 at 8:13 am

      Thanks, Dorie. Actually, I’m counting on you to make French cuisine convert out of my wife!

  25. Lis said,

    September 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I saw this recipe today in the book at Borders and wanted to know if there’s another cheese I can substitute for gorganzola. I’ve just never been a big fan of it. Thanks for any suggestions/ideas!

    • gaaarp said,

      September 28, 2010 at 5:13 pm

      The only thing that comes to mind is feta, as it has a similar texture and flavor profile. You could make it without any cheese. I did one that way for my daughter, and it was still good.

      • Lis said,

        October 3, 2010 at 12:56 pm

        Thanks very much for the suggestions! Can’t wait to try it out!

  26. Renee said,

    September 28, 2010 at 12:35 am

    This looks delicious! I’ll have to find time for this recipe this fall!

  27. Leslie said,

    September 27, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    This sounds so good. I probably wouldn’t have had this at the top of my list to try but it sounds like it needs to cut the line!

  28. Anne Marie said,

    September 27, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    This is on my list of things to try. I’m glad that it worked out.

    • gaaarp said,

      September 27, 2010 at 10:16 pm

      You’ll love it! I’m also anxious to try Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good. I have all the ingredients, now I just need to find the time.


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