I’ve had two moments since I’ve been pregnant that I have felt totally and completely out of the loop, super old, and just plain behind the times. I always heard people say this about themselves, but twice in the past 8 months I’ve had experiences where I felt like in an instant I was the person that everyone was staring at. And wondering what in the heck I was doing. Someone who is so totally clueless to social norms, etiquette, or fashion in general.
I can’t tell you of the second venture because it’s too fresh form happening (just last night), but the first, I am delighted to let you in on.
Fourth of July.
Everyone is having their margaritas. I am having water.
Everyone is in bikinis, looking toned and tanned. I am in a bikini bigger than any size I’ve ever purchased thanks to the baby that resides inside of me.
People are laying by the pool. I am sitting awkwardly trying to be comfortable while not being able to lie on my back or on my stomach and trying to make sure that any and all excess weight on my thighs are “held in” and not taking over the entire back yard.
So what, though, right? At some point everyone will go in for lunch, put on their clothes and it wont be that bad. I put on my pregnancy jeans and a shirt that was a bit too tight, brushed up on my eye liner and mascara and came back downstairs, feeling all sorts of new confidence that the realm of clothes was a world I was way more comfortable in.
No one put on jeans. No one put on clothes, per se. Instead, everyone and I mean everyone (excluding boys) had on cute bathing suit cover ups. Bright colors. Short dresses with ruffles, polka dots, ties, beads, the works. And as I looked down at my pregnancy jeans and my shirt that didn’t fit, I. felt. so. out. of. it. Of course no one is wearing jeans, it’s a pool party. But there I was. Jeans. The only person pregnant in a room of people that pregnancy seemed like a foreign concept, in my jeans, sipping good ol’ H2O. And the worst part was that I thought I was with it, I thought I was on the cusp of fashion. Wrong again.
Since this moment I’ve tried my best to be on top of things, you know to really fool people into thinking that I am a functioning part of society that does more than eat, sleep, and watch Cake Boss on my instant queue.
Pumpkin Flan says “with it”, “classy”, and “together” like no other dessert.
You have to make your own caramel (which, I burned my finger doing). It’s a twist on a classic fall flavor, and it’s so very exotic of you.
Give it a whirl. Bring it to a dinner party.
I don’t think you will regret it. And it’s fall, so no one will be wearing a cute, short, beach coverup.
Pumpkin Flan (adapted from Bitchin’ Camero)
For the Caramel
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
For the Flan
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (un sweetened)
5 eggs at room temp
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup marscarpone cheese
Dish: 8 or 9 inch metal cake pan
To begin, set up what is called a bain marie (don’t you feel super sophisticated and “with it” already?) Get a 13×9 casserole dish and fill it with water, about 1-2 inches from the top. You want your pie pan to sit in the water, resting a bit on the rim of the cake pan, and for the water to come up about half way up the pie pan, but not overflow over the sides of the large cake pan. Go ahead, test it out.
Preheat the oven to 350, and place the bain marie in the oven while the oven preheats. While it’s preheating, whisk together all the ingredients for the flan into a large bowl and set aside. Make sure that it’s well combined, but try to not let too many air bubbles form. If they do, slow down the whisking, and many will disappear while it’s resting.
Now it’s time for the caramel.
Put the sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir frequently, making sure that the sugar is being moved around while it’s melting. It will melt rather quickly, so keep your eye on it. Warning: if some hot caramel flows over the side of the pan, do not, DO NOT touch it with your finger. It hurts. You will swear. and hate yourself for the rest of the week.)
As soon as the sugar is melted, the caramel will be clear. Remove from the heat and immediately pour into pie pan. Swirl the pie pan around so that the caramel covers the bottom. Pour the flan mixture on top of caramel. Cover pie pan tightly with aluminum foil.
Carefully place the pie pan into the bain marie that has been heated in the oven. Cook between 40-55 minutes, checking every 5 minutes, until the middle is just set. Remove from oven and place into fridge for at least 8 hours before serving.
To serve, you can cut as you would a piece of pie and drizzle extra caramel on top of each piece, or invert entire flan on a large plate and allow caramel to form a pond around the flan.