This light-textured pumpkin and amaretto flan is a unique way to end an Italian dinner party. Chef Stefano Manfredi serves the flan with a rich anise cream and licorice centre. 






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (5 votes)


  • 250 g Queensland blue pumpkin, peeled, seeded, chopped 
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) milk 
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped 
  • 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar 
  • 1 tsp amaretto liqueur 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten 
  • good-quality licorice slices, to serve 

Anise cream

  • 125 ml (½ cup) thickened cream 
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk 
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped 
  • 150 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar 
  • ½ tsp anise seeds (see Note)
  • 4 egg yolks

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time 10 minutes

Chilling time 3 hours

Drink NV Marco de Bartoli Bukkuram Passito di Pantelleria, Sicily, or a shot of Amaretto Di Saronno, Lombardy, Italy. 

To make anise cream, stir cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds, half the sugar and anise seeds in a saucepan over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and stand for 5 minutes to let flavours infuse. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Stir in milk mixture until combined, then return to saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, for 8 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug, discarding solids. Cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 140°C. Place pumpkin, milk, vanilla bean and seeds, and sugar in a small pan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until pumpkin is soft. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing solids firmly with a spoon. Add amaretto and eggs, then whisk to combine. Pour into 4 lightly greased 150 ml savarin moulds and place in a baking dish with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the side of the moulds. Bake for 1 hour or until mixture starts to shrink from side of mould.

Stand moulds in dish for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a tray to cool. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until cold. To unmould, hold mould with a warm cloth, then run a knife around the edge. Invert onto plates. Serve with anise cream and a licorice slice in the centre.



• Anise seeds are from delis and spice shops.


As seen in Feast magazine, Feb 2012, Issue 6. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.

Photography by Alan Benson.