Basic Spanish Flan
Basic Spanish Flan is delicious, bringing out the purity and indulgent qualities inherent in the dessert dish. This recipe, developed in our kitchens, is easily adjustable and can be enhanced with honey, lemon zest, crushed almonds and other traditional flan ingredients. It makes use of 8 oz. flan molds which enhances presentation. We used styro-foam plates in the photo at left and still found our test-subjects to be very impressed with the appearance of the dish. Our five taste-testers gave the dish favorable marks, some had never before tasted flan.
In about thirty minutes of prep time you can put together this elegant dessert.
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 can of evaporated milk (12 oz.)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Produce 6 flan molds, any 8 oz oven-safe, smooth-sided dishes should do. This recipe can also be made in a single, larger 9-inch round flan mold. Lay these dishes out in a row. Now, place sugar in saucepan and place directly over medium heat on the stove top. Watch closely and constantly stir. The sugar will brown and turn to liquid. (Do not add water or other liquids.) Do not allow the sugar to scorch. Remove from heat and distribute the caramelized sugar equally across the bottom of the flan molds. The sugar will almost immediately harden, but once it is baked with the custard, it will liquify and remain so.
In a mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients and whisk together until the eggs are no longer recognizable as white or yoke. While mixing you may add a few tablespoons of sugar or honey to sweeten to taste. Now distribute the custard mixture in the various flan molds.
Run about an inch of water into a large roasting pan. Set on an oven rack and then place the molds within the roasting pan. (Do not allow water level to go over the side of your flan molds.) Carefully push in the rack and close the oven door. Set oven to 350 degrees F - do not preheat. Bake for one hour. Test for doneness by inserting a knife. If it comes out clean, then the custard has fully cooked. The photo above shows how the flan will appear at this stage.
When done, remove individual flans from roasting pan and place on a rack to cool. Flan can be served slightly warm or chilled in the refrigerator. To serve, run a knife around the top of the flan where it is connected to the mold. Flip over the mold onto the serving plate and then jiggle the flan loose so that it falls in one piece onto the plate. The caramelized sugar will form a sauce over the flan. There will be hard sugar remaining in the bottom of the molds, do not attempt to scrape this out to add to the sauce. Now be prepared to impress your guests.
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