Flan & Whatnot

Last Saturday, I was going through my camera and cleaning out all the pictures, and a came across my Puerto Rico trip pictures, and I came across at least six or seven pictures of flan, and I was instantly reminded why I took so many pictures: I was attempting to remind my self to make it(I have the strangest ways to remind my self of things). And so that very Saturday, I dug out a recipe for flan.

Flan is amazing. It is creamy, soft, caramel-y, dessert that I absolutely love! It’s one of the most kick-butt deserts in South America.

Flan

adapted from the show: Dinner Impossible recipe by Robert Irvine

Ingredients:

The caramel(that liquid-y russet colored liquid around the flan):

  • 1/2 a cup of sugar
  • 1/8 a cup of red wine(any kind, I used Shiraz, I have no idea what year though)

The Cream Part:

  • 1 1/2 (maybe even a bit less) of coconut milk
  • 1 of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 a cup of 2% milk(and just a bit more) or you can use whole milk(also 1/2 a cup)
  • 1/2 a cup of heavy cream(minimize this a little if you use whole milk, it may become too heavy)
  • 2 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 a cup of sugar

In the original recipe it says you need specialized flan tins, but you can make it in just about any thing that can be used in an oven, but just a leetle warning, if you use something that has a really high rim and then try to flip it, it wont end all too well…lets just say that a mini explosion occurs…

I used little glass bowls that are just big enough to fit into the palm of my hand, and sometimes a medium sized stoneware pan).

Here is a a picture:

That’s my littles sisters hand and it’s a bit big for her if you can see that. By the way, you’re also looking at the caramel right after you make it.

Firstly, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Now, we start with making the caramel. First get a small-ish pot and put stove, then fill it with the 1/2 a cup of sugar, and 1/8 a cup of wine. Swirl it around a bit, and make sure the sugar is coated, then turn the stove on. Continue swirling the mixture of sugar and wine around, until the sugar is completely dissolved, but do not let it boil before the sugar is completely dissolved. Finally when the sugar is completely dissolved, place the lid on the pot and let it boil for two minutes on high(or medium, depends on your stove). Then after those two minutes, you can take the lid off, and look at it to see if it has darkened to a deep amber color. Thenquickly pour the caramel into your cups (or whatever you chose to use) and swirl it around to create a thin layer of caramel on the bottom on dish. This must be done quickly or else, the caramel will cool and harden, which is not fun to deal with. After a while the caramel will harden.

Another note: Be really careful with the caramel, don’t go sticking it in your mouth and in between your teeth because if it hardens there, it could take a while to get it out.

Here’s a picture of the caramel held to the sunlight:

It’s such a gorgeous amber!

Okay, now for the creamy part of the flan:

Mix together the coconut milk, evaporated milk, the regular milk, the cream, and the vanilla extract in a sauce pan on the stove. Keep the sauce pan at medium heat, and slowly bring the mixture to a boil. When it starts boiling, turn off the stove, and let it come to room temperature.

Now, in a separate large bowl( a large one) mix together the six egg yolks and 1/2 a cup of sugar(which you gradually add to the eggs), and continue whisking until you see a shade of change in color(i didn’t see much really). Then gradually pour in the cream mixture(which was previously cooling), continuously whisking it as you pour the mixture in.

Next pour the cream mixture into your caramel-ed dish(es) and place them in a pan, and fill the pan until the water level reaches half way up you dish. While you are doing this do not let any water fall into the flan. Then bake them at 325 degrees until you are able to stick a knife in the flan and have it come out clean(this should take approximately forty minutes according to the recipe, but it took me nearly an hour, so it all depends on your oven, and how it is). Then when it finally is able to come out of the oven, take it out, and let it cool down to room tempreture, then refrigerate the flan for about 4 hrs(or longer, i doesn’t really matter). When you take it out of the fridge for serving, let it get a bit warmer, it helps when you flip the flan.

Bon appetit!

~D.D.

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