Peep this: A blended custard base flavored with coconut, crushed pineapple, and for creaminess – A block of cream cheese. This luscious custard is poured over a pineapple ring snugly nestled over a copper hued caramel – A caramel infused with pineapple juice, cinnamon, and coconut rum. And for fun, a cherry on top! Pineapple Coconut Upside-down Cheesecake Flan – A traditional Latino dessert, but with a truly delicious twist!
I planned on posting a caramel apple ice cream float today and I changed my mind. It’s cold out, yo. Like… Cold. I woke up this morning and immediately folded onto myself, hoping curling into the tightest little ball would help warm me up. It did. But then I had to get on with my life and face the cold.
Today is not the day for ice cream.
Today we’re rolling with some tropical flavor situations.
Flow with me, let’s talk about this Pineapple Upside Down Coconut Cheesecake Flan.
I am keeping summer alive in heart, even when the temperature plummets to arctic levels.
I’m firing my oven to a nice, low 300° Fahrenheit. Optimal flan temperatures.
A custard base, whizzed in minutes using my high powered Ninja blender. That reminds me – It’s time for a new one. The custard base is an assortment of ingredients and flavors – Eggs, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, Coco Lopez to enhance the coconut flavor situation, and crushed pineapple.
Some rum. Just because. And most important: A big ol’ block of cream cheese. Yah. Cream cheese. It gives this flan stability and a creaminess that is unmatched. Trust.
A caramel – A blend of sugar, pineapple juice, cinnamon, and who can forget – Coconut rum. The caramel bubbles and bubbles until it reaches an irresistible copper hue.
Caramel is poured in ramekins. A word on ramekins. Use wide mouth ramekins. If you have mason jars, even better. Narrow mouthed ones will not work here. Well, not that the flan won’t work. The pineapple ring will not fit. And we need these pineapple rings. If you don’t own wide mouth ramekins – Don’t sweat it, boo. You can easily make this flan in a 10” cake pan.
Gorgeous. Hot. Don’t touch it.
A pineapple ring is nestled over the caramel.
Custard is poured over that.
Ramekins arranged in a roasting pan. The pan is then filled with boiling water. Enough to warmly bathe your ramekins midway and provide the steam needed to give flan its creaminess. Sometimes I go past that, and fill my roasting pan almost ¾ of the way. The baking takes longer. The creaminess, tho. You will remember it forever.
The flan is allowed to bake low and slow. Expect to bake for a while. Sometimes one hour, sometimes two. I think my oven is jacked. This flan took about two hours to bake.
But it’s all good.
Out of the oven this Pineapple Coconut Upside-down Cheesecake Flan is jiggly and hot. Too hot to eat. The cool down settles and seals in flavor.
It comes to room temperature. Run a knife around the edges to help it unmold. You know, when it’s ready.
Cool the flan or flans in the fridge. Freezer if you desperately need a taste. I mean, you invested all that time. I can dig it.
Garnish with a maraschino cherry. It makes it pretty. Well, prettier.
This flan is already pretty.
Flan is… Flan is family. Such a simple and tasty dessert to make. So simple that it makes an appearance in every Latino gathering, from holidays to card games. It’s there. Omnipresent like a deliciously muscular god.
This version – Oh, man. It’s the real deal. Burnt caramel flavored with pineapple. The caramel infused pineapple ring breaks way to a coconut/pineapple creaminess with just a hint of rum.
Taste me, it says.
And you comply.
Each and every time.
Pineapple Coconut Upside-down Cheesecake Flan
- For the caramel
- Granulated sugar - 1 cup
- Pineapple juice - 1/4 cup
- Coconut rum - 1 tablespoon
- Ground cinnamon - ½ teaspoon
- For the Flan
- Evaporated milk - 1 (12 ounce) can
- Coconut milk - 1 (15 ounce) can
- Sweetened condensed milk - 1 (14 ounce) can
- Full fat cream cheese, softened - 8 ounces (1 package)
- Crushed pineapple - ½ cup
- Sweetened cream of coconut (I used Coco Lopez) - 1 cup
- Eggs - 5 large
- Vanilla extract - 1 tablespoon
- Coconut rum - 2 tablespoons
- Pineapple rings - About 15
- Maraschino cherries (for garnish) - About 15
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Set aside either a flan mold, 10 inch Pyrex dish, or 15 5 oz. ramekins. Prepare the custard.
For the Custard:
- Combine the evaporated milk, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, crushed pineapple, sweetened cream of coconut, eggs, vanilla extract, and coconut rum in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. You also use an immersion hand blender here.
- Using a sieve, strain custard mixture over a large measuring cup with a lip and set aside.
Prepare the caramel.
For the Caramel:
- Combine sugar, pineapple juice, coconut rum, and ground cinnamon in medium saucepan. Stir until the sugar is somewhat dissolved. Cook over medium-high heat and boil, without stirring, until caramel turns a copper brown color. This can take anywhere from about 10-15 minutes.
- Using either a heavy dish towel or oven mitts, grab the saucepan handle and quickly and carefully pour the caramel over bottom of your flan mold, Pyrex dish, or ramekins. Please be careful because the caramel will be extremely hot.
- Immediately following the caramel, line pineapple rings over the caramel, and then pour the custard into desired mold. Arrange in a large roasting pan.
- Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the side of your flan vessel(s). Bake for 60-120 minutes (this is a low and slow deal) or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. When nudged the flan should jiggle a bit. If you are using ramekins, begin to check at around 60 minutes. Cool the flan for about 30 minutes, then cover and chill in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
You can do one of two things:
- Either run a sharp knife around the rim of the mold and gently shake to loosen.
- Or you can place the bottom of the mold in a couple of inches of boiling water for a few seconds. Invert onto a serving plate.