Wednesday, June 29, 2011
We finished last weekend with a flan, and I also made one for a Father's Day dessert. If I were a good little blogger I would look up and share the origins and influences of flan, but instead I will simply tell you what very little I know about making flans. The most important thing about flans is that my husband really likes them. Flans are quite tasty and not really that difficult to make, though there are a few tricks: It's essential to use a water bath while baking one to insure a smooth texture, and it's done baking when it no longer jiggles; they need to chill so must be baked well ahead of when you want to serve them; I've always used this ring mold (I think I bought it years ago at a yard sale) so I have absolutely no idea if you can make one using anything else; the caramelized sugar may look scrumptious after you've coated the ring mold, but if you take the tiniest little taste from the pot (you know, that indulgent finger-taste you just can't help yourself from taking whenever you're bake something) YOU WILL BE SORRY as it is REALLY hot; a flan uses 8 eggs, which can be great if your chickens are producing almost a dozen a day (like ours are), or a complication if the are not yet producing (like the little chickens of Lucy 'In the sky' (click here). This is my recipe for making flan.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 1/2 c. sugar + 3 T. water WITHOUT STIRRING. Swirl once in awhile until the sugar turns honey-colored. Wearing an oven mitt (trust me, you should wear an oven mitt), pour into a 2-quart ovenproof mold and swirl the caramel around to coat the bottom and some of the sides, taking care not to burn yourself. Set aside.
7 egg yolks
2/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. nutmeg or almond extract -NOT both
Add: 2 1/2 c. milk or almond milk
Pour over caramel in mold. Place in a larger pan and pour warm water for water bath to reach 2/3 height of mold. Bake 1 hour, or until no longer jiggles. Cool, then refrigerate for several hours or overnight. To serve: run a knife around edges to loosen custard. Set mold in hot water (in sink or water bath pan again) to reach 1/2 height of mold for 1 minute or so to melt caramel to unmold flan. Give a quick spin-wiggle to make sure the custard is loosened. Cover with a plate and quickly invert -it should plop right out.