Sunday, August 26, 2012

Flan

My daughter and I were invited to have lunch over the house of some folks at church. I thought I would make a dessert to bring and got the idea to make a flan; cause it's been a while since I ahve made a flan.

I had a recipe on hand that I used in the past but thought I'd nose around to see other recipes and found a rather unique version that uses both evaporated and sweetened condensed milk instead of whole milk and heavy cream. I though I would do a practice run and tried out that different recipe.

The net result, much less work but not nearly as good - overly sweet and while okay, a bit denser than I think a flan should be, so I went back to the other preparation - but came across a slightly modified version and I will offer the recipe here along with some pictures from my preparation.

Ingredients:
For the custard:
1 cup of Heavy Cream
½ cup of Whole Milk
½ Vanilla Bean, seeds scraped out with a sharp knife
2 Eggs
1 Egg Yolk
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp of Granulated Sugar

For the Caramel:
½ cup of Granulated Sugar
3 Tbsp of Water

1.      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a tea kettle with water and let it come up to boil. Place 4 (6oz) ramekins in a large roasting dish with high sides and set aside, and spray them with non stick cooking spray.
Note: My ramekins are 4 oz. capacity.
2.      In a small saucepan, add the heavy cream, milk, vanilla bean and a pinch of salt, cook over medium heat until it comes to a simmer then turn it off and let it sit while you work on the caramel.
Note:The bloack dots is the vanilla from the bean.
3.      In a saucepan, add the sugar and water DO NOT STIR, cook over medium high heat until the mixture turns a deep amber color, remember you can swirl the pan but never stir. This process might take up to 10 minutes so be patient and do not leave it alone because it can turn from amber color to burned in seconds.

4.      Divide the caramel between the 4 ramekins and immediately tilt the ramekins to make sure the whole bottom surface is covered in the caramel.

5.      In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk with the 3 tbsp of sugar until they are well mixed. Pour the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk well to combine. Remove the vanilla bean and divide the mixture between the ramekins.

6.      Pour some hot water in your roasting pan up to about half way up the ramekins, bake them for about 35 to 40 minutes or until set.

7.      Remove from the water bath and let them chill for a couple hours in the fridge or up to overnight. To serve, run a small paring knife around the edges and tilt upside down on a plate.

The results where fabulous. I tasted it and it was exquisite and everyone loved them.

Added Monday - I realize I should have taken a snapshot of what they look like when served, it's quite beautiful will the caramel pooled at the top then drizzling down the sides. This recipe is not cloyingly sweet, it's just right and the vanilla from the vanilla bean really makes a HUGE difference over extract.

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