Saturday, October 17, 2009
Flan (just like my Abuelita's!)
I LOVE flan!! I could eat it all day long and be quite happy! My husband, Mundo, who is Nicaraguan, gave me the idea of baking it in individual servings instead of one big dish (the way his mom used to do it :) ). It worked great! It was easy to eat and looked really pretty when served. If you've never made caramel before, this recipe is a great place to start! The trick is to make sure you don't walk away from it and to read the directions carefully before you start making it. You'll be SO proud of yourself!
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
5 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 cups whole or low-fat milk
3/4 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. For the caramel: pour 3/4 cup sugar into a saucepan. Drizzle with the 1/4 cup water. Don't stir! Place the pan over medium heat and, without stirring, very gently swirl the pan by the handle until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is clear. It should take about 5 minutes. It's important to make sure the syrup is clear before it starts boiling so don't allow it to boil yet! Once clear, increase the heat to high and bring the syrup up to a boil. Cover and boil for exactly 2 minutes. Uncover and cook the syrup until it begins to darken into a caramel color- about 2 minutes (still don't stir it!) Gently swirl the pan by the handle once again and cook until the syrup turns a deep caramel color. Quickly pour the caramel into 8 6-ounce bowls/ramekins or a 2 to 2 1/2 quart baking dish (about 2 tbsp per bowl). It will harden immediately once poured.
For the custard: Microwave the milk for 2 minutes, or until steaming. Combine the eggs, sugar and salt and whisk until smooth. Slowly stir in the milk. Add the vanilla. Pour into the caramel-lined bowls or baking dish. Place custard-filled bowls/baking dish into a large baking pan and place in the oven. Fill the baking pan halfway with boiling water, creating a water bath. (it's always easier to pour the water into the baking dish once it's in the oven). Bake for 40-60 minutes for individual bowls or 1 to 1 1/2 hours for a baking dish (jiggle the bowl to see if it's done. If the center seems to still have a liquid consistency, bake a little longer). Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours before serving. Run a knife around the edge of the bowl and dip in hot water to release the custard. Flip over onto a plate to serve. It's SO yummy!!