Thursday, January 28, 2010
Flan, I love you just the way you are...
At some point, I'll talk about the many variations of flan--chocolate flan, pumpkin flan, brandy flan, and the list goes on. But for today, I just want to pay homage to the one and only, plain and simple,caramel flan.
This dessert makes me think of my mother. She's never been a baker, but like all Spanish women, this is the one dessert she can make, almost like a rite of passage.
I will say a couple of things about the list of ingredients. If you are on a diet or have cholesterol issues, let's be honest, this is not the dessert for you. Unless I bake a dessert with the intention of making it "low-fat," I never try substituting ingredients. I believe in real sugar and whole milk. It just tastes better. Also, I love trying to use organic whenever possible/affordable, but over Thanksgiving my brother and sister used some sort of brown organic sugar with this dessert, let's just say it did not work...AT ALL. Just use the real stuff today, and ask for forgiveness at the gym tomorrow.
Here is what you will need:
Step 1: Prehat the oven to 300°. Scald the milk with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Step 2: Beat eggs, 6 tablespoons of sugar, and vanilla until it is all nice and fluffy.
Step 3: Continue to stir the egg mixture, and slowly pour the scalded milk into the bowl--continue to stir until well blended but not foamy.
Step 4: Set aside the egg mixture. Place 6 tablespoons of sugar in an iron skillet on low heat. Stir constantly until it turns a nice golden color. Do not leave unattended because it might start to burn.
Step 5: When the sugar turns amber, quickly pour the melted sugar into the souffle dish and move around to coat the bottom. It will only take a few seconds to harden, so tilt the dish back and forth quickly.
Step 6: Pour the egg mixture into the souffle dish. Place the souffle dish in a baking pan and pour at least a couple of inches of HOT (but not boiling) water into the pan. Cook for one hour. Check on the water ever 20 minutes to make sure it hasn't started to boil. If it does, pour in a half a cup of cold water to cool it down.
The top will be a nice golden brown.
Step 7: Let it cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and turn over onto a plate. The caramel will cover the custard...so good! Cover and refrigerate.
List of ingredients:
12 tablespoons of sugar (divided)
2 cups of whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 whole eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla