Saturday, April 22, 2006

Flan



Caramel Flan
Adapted from “The New England Cookbook” by Brooke Dojny (Harvard Common Press, 1999).You will find flan on the menu of almost any Mexican restaurant, since a smooth, soothing caramel custard makes the perfect finish to any hearty, spicy, intensely flavored main course. This version is easy to make and works beautifully all by itself or with a bowl of fresh strawberries to spoon alongside.Rich in Omega-3 oils and the ultimate in creamy pleasure.

We had this in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico at Panamas

INGREDIENTS½ cup plus 2/3 cup sugar or Succanat
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
3 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have ready an ungreased 9-inch round or square 1 ½ to 2 quart baking dish.
2. Cook ½ cup of the sugar over medium heat in a heavy medium-sized saucepan, stirring almost constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon, until it is melted and turns first golden and then very dark brown, about 5 minutes. (Use extreme caution! Cooked sugar is very hot and can burn the skin if it spatters.) Immediately pour the hot caramel syrup into the baking dish and swirl the pan until it coats the bottom. The caramel will harden at this point and melt again later as the flan bakes.
3. Gently but thoroughly whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and the remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk and vanilla. Pour the custard mixture into the prepared dish. Set the dish in a larger baking pan and fill the larger pan with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
4. Bake until a knife inserted two-thirds of the way to the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. The center should still be slightly soft, as the flan will finish cooking after it is removed from the oven. Cool in the water bath, then remove baking dish from water bath and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
5. Before serving, run a sharp knife around the edge of the flan to release it. Place a large rimmed serving plate over the baking dish and, using both hands, invert both dishes so that the flan and the liquid sauce unmold onto the platter. Refrigerate again until serving time.
Serves 8.

Helpful Hints:You can also make this flan in individual 8-ounce ramekins, in which case the baking time would be reduced by about 10 minutes.

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