Thursday, May 5, 2011

Flan, Yummy Flan!!

Cinco de Mayo = friends and good Mexican food.  Lorelei and I had a bunch of friends over and some (decent) take out Mexican food.  I must say though, at least for me, the highlight of the evening was the desert.  Flan.

I have dreamed about this flan for years and have never made it myself.  The recipe is that of my ex-fiance's mom.  I have always remembered it as being silken, not overly sweet, delicate, and a dish to be contended with.  I have never, not once, found another flan that has measured up to this recipe and tonight I proved my memory to serve me well.

The ingredients? Technically, 3.  With water, vanilla extract, and a almond extract, 6.

That's it.  No kidding.

I thought it was too simple and tried to make it 'the way I thought it should be'... colossal failure. Do it this way and you won't fail.

Flan à la Milano

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 24 hours
Yield: 8-12 servings
  • 3 Eggs, well beaten
  • 1 ea. 14oz. can Eagle brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 ea. 14oz. can Water
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Almond Extract
  • 1/2 cup Granulated sugar
Cooking Directions
Out of the oven it doesn't look like much, but let it set up, you'll get your prize!

If only I had a big enough flat plate.. but it still looks good, huh?
  1.  Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Set out a large 2" deep roasting pan and fill with 1.5" (or so, err on the side of less) of water*.

  3. Over medium heat, melt the sugar until it's a golden, molten caramel, stirring occasionally to evenly distribute the heat. ( Note - pastry chefs don't stir the sugar, they swirl the pan. I've done it both ways, they both work )

  4. When the sugar is melted poor it into the bottom of a glass pie dish (or into 8 ea. 4 oz ramekins)

  5. Set aside to cool completely (1 hour or more)

  6. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs well (about a minute)

  7. Add the Condensed Milk

  8. Use the Condensed Milk can to measure your water and add that to the bowl

  9. Add your vanilla and almond extracts and give the whole thing a good whisk to combine the ingredients.

  10. Through a fine sieve, pour the mixture into the pie dish/ramekins then place the roasting pan into the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. ** Check it after 20 minutes. My ex's mom's recipe called for the baking time to be 20 minutes, but my oven I'm pretty sure is callebrated differently. The flan will be ready to take out of the oven when there is a good wiggle, not a wave when you give it a shake.

  11. When you remove it from the oven, take it out of the bain marie and place it on a hot pad/cooling rack to to cool for at least 30 minutes. Then, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in your fridge for at least 24 hours.

  12. When you are ready to serve, run a knife around the edge and place an inverted plate on the pie dish. Quickly, but gently, flip the flan onto your place. CAUTION, the sugar is liquid and can pour out so hold the plate firmly to the pie dish so you don't lose any of that goodness.

  13. Slice and serve my friends. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.


    *This is called a bain Marie - a cooking method by which the dessert/dish that is being baked is done so in a "bath" of water so as to keep it moist and event distribute the heat of the oven

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