1 tablespoon at the beginning and 1 tablespoon at the end
Making the Caramel Sauce: Put the sugar and one tablespoon of water into a small pot and heat it on a medium heat. Once it turns a nice golden brown, turn off the heat and add one more tablespoon of water.
Coat your molds in melted butter and then add the caramel sauce to the bottom. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Also boil some water to use later when baking.
Microwave the kabocha squash with the skin still on until it gets soft. I used one fourth of a big kabocha squash.
Peel off the skin and cut up the kabocha squash. You should have 400 g.
Heat up the milk and sugar, and melt the sugar in the milk. Be careful not to let it it boil.
Place the cut up kabocha squash and eggs in a blender or food processor, and add in the milk and sugar combination from Step 4 as it mixes.
Strain the mixture into a pot or bowl. If you don't strain it at this step it will not turn out smooth.
Add the remaining milk, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and rum a little at a time while mixing.
If a lot of bubbles are forming on top, place a paper towel gently on the batter to remove them.
Pour the batter carefully into your molds, and cover the top with aluminum foil.
Place the molds in a pan filled with the hot water boiled earlier, and bake it all in the oven at 160°C for 35~40 minutes. Make sure to fill the outside pan with lots of hot water. A shallow baking sheet is good for this.
Now all you have to do is enjoy the thick and creamy texture of your flan. It's not too heavy so you'll eat it right up.
You could add caramel tablets too! Throw in an extra one for a super-special treat. Here's my "Easy Homemade Caramel Tablets for Flan" Recipe ID: 1231721
The decorations in the photo I made from whip cream (not in the ingredients list) scooped with a heated spoon and little shapes cut from the kabocha squash skin.
You can flip the flan over too, but it's really soft so breaks easily. I recommend only doing it with small one person-size molds.
Story Behind this Recipe
Flan feels heavy in my stomach if it's too rich tasting, so I made this creamy kabocha squash flan that's a little light but still tasty.
Don't forget to strain it. It's fine to add the caramel sauce last but I recommend using a lot. A nice thick flan with lots of caramel sauce tastes amazing! I made the green decorations you see in the photos out of the kabocha squash skins.