Silky soft and creamy Instant Pot Kabocha Flan on a white plate.

Instant Pot Kabocha Flan

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: creme caramel, custard pudding, flan
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Let cool: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4 ramekins (6-oz ramekin)
Author: Nami

Pressure Cooked in Instant Pot, this Kabocha Pumpkin Flan with caramel sauce has a silky smooth texture and rich custard flavor with a hint of sweet kabocha.

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Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk (120 ml)
  • ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream (120 ml)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp sugar (38 g)
  • 15 oz kabocha (squash/pumpkin) (424 g) (with seeds)

Caramel Sauce

  • 4 Tbsp sugar (50 g)
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp hot water

Instructions

  1. Gather all the ingredients.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan Ingredients

Steam Kabocha in Instant Pot

  1. Quickly rinse the kabocha under water and remove the seeds with a spoon.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 1
  2. Cut kabocha into wedges and then 2 inch pieces.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 2
  3. Fill the Instant Pot with 1 cup water and set a steamer basket inside.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 3
  4. Put the kabocha in a single layer.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 4
  5. Close the lid and set HIGH pressure for 2 minutes.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 5
  6. Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing” and not “venting”. The float valve goes up when pressurized.
    Steam Release Handle vent

Make Caramel Sauce

  1. While you’re waiting for Kabocha to finish (Keep in mind that after pressure cooking, you only let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes), we can make the caramel sauce. Boil water in a kettle or saucepan and set aside (you will only need 2 Tbsp hot water). Put 4 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp water in a small saucepan.

    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 7
  2. Gently shake the saucepan to evenly distribute sugar and do not touch until the mixture starts to turn golden brown. Gently shake the pan again to distribute the mixture to have even color.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 8
  3. When the caramel reaches amber color (I like a slightly darker color – which has a milder bitter), turn off the heat and quickly add 2 Tbsp hot water to loosen it. The caramel will splash, so use a lid to protect yourself from getting caramel splatter.

    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 9
  4. Swirl the saucepan to make even mixture and pour the caramel into 4 ramekins. Allow the caramel sauce to cool.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 10

Make Kabocha Puree

  1. When it’s finished cooking, the Instant Pot will switch automatically to the “Keep Warm” mode. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then proceed with quick release (DO NOT EXCEED. I recommend to set a timer.) by turning the steam release handle to the “venting” position to let steam out until the float valve drops down. Hold a kitchen towel and do not place your hand or face over steam release valve. The steam should be left only a little bit after 10 minutes of natural release.

    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 11
  2. Open the lid and remove the steam rack from the Instant Pot.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 12
  3. Use a knife or spoon to remove the flesh. Discard the kabocha skin (but it’s edible!).
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 13
  4. Use a flour sifter or fine mesh sieve (Uragoshiki in Japanese) or a food processor. Set the fine mesh sieve over a sheet of parchment paper and press the steamed kabocha into the mesh with a wooden spatula. Once it’s all done, flip the mesh sieve and take out the pureed kabocha onto the parchment paper. If you’re using a food processor, process the kabocha into a puree.

    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 14
  5. Measure ½ cup (120 g) kabocha puree from the pile. With almost 1 lb kabocha, you will have enough to make 4 ramekins, but you may not have enough puree for another batch. It’s hard to predict the real weight of kabocha with seeds included, so please adjust accordingly. You can also save the puree for up to 3 days in the fridge. I sometimes make Kabocha Soup with the leftover puree.

    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 15

Make Custard Mixture

  1. In a large bowl, combine 3 eggs and 3 Tbsp sugar and whisk well.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 16
  2. Add ½ cup milk, ½ cup heavy cream, and 1 tsp vanilla extract, and whisk to combine.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 17
  3. Add the kabocha puree and mix until thoroughly combined.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 18
  4. For the best texture, set a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl (I use a 4-cup liquid measuring cup) and pass the custard mixture through the sieve. If you have a smaller fine mesh strainer, you can directly pour over the ramekins.

    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 19
  5. Divide the custard mixture into 4 ramekins.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 20
  6. Cover each ramekin tightly with a sheet of aluminum foil.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 21

Pressure Cook

  1. Add 1 cup water into the Instant Pot and place the steam rack inside.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 22
  2. Put the 4 ramekins on the rack and make sure they are not tilted.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 23
  3. Close the lid and set HIGH pressure for 6 minutes. Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing” and not “venting”.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 24
  4. When it’s finished cooking, the Instant Pot will switch automatically to the “Keep Warm” mode. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then proceed with quick release (DO NOT EXCEED. I recommend to set a timer.) by turning the steam release handle to the “venting” position to let steam out until the float valve drops down. Hold a kitchen towel and do not place your hand or face over steam release valve. The steam should be left only a little bit after 10 minutes of natural release.

    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 25
  5. Take out one ramekin and remove aluminum foil. Insert a skewer in the center of the flan to see if the custard is set and no liquid comes out. If it’s not cooked through, repeat the pressure cooking process (the cooking time varies depending on your result).

    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 26
  6. Let cool on the counter until the flan is room temperature. Then put the ramekins on a tray, cover with paper towel (to absorb condensation/moisture) and plastic, and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 27

To Serve

  1. Run a knife around the ramekins.
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 28
  2. Hold the ramekin and plate together and shake vigorously a few times to invert onto a plate. Enjoy!
    Instant Pot Kabocha Flan 29

Recipe Notes

Caramel Sauce: If you serve the flan in a ramekin, you can make the caramel sauce right before serving and pour on top of the flan.

 

Ramekins: Use the same size ramekins when you pressure cook. Do not use the different size as cooking time may vary based on the size of ramekins and hard to predict the cooking time.

 

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.