Saturday, February 26, 2011

You should make this....

Flan.  Looks fancy.  So easy to make.  Don't even bother to use a recipe for flan that involves reducing down the milk or cream or whatever.  This recipe makes flan to rival any other flan, I promise.  And I'm not tooting my own horn, because I didn't make the recipe up, it comes from Nigella, with just tiny adjustments to temperature and time. And by the way, even though the name "flan" suggests Spanish or Mexican cuisine, flan=creme caramel as far as I'm concerned, so you could call it that and serve it with French food.
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Put 3/4 cup of sugar into a (metal) pie pan or a cake pan, or a tarte tatin pan, roughly 9" wide.
3. This is the ONLY tricky part....put the pan over medium heat on the will probably have to use oven mitts here so that you can keep lifting the pan and swirling it around.  You want the sugar to melt and turn the color of caramel.  Now, let me tell you what I actually did when I made this, because I don't you to get discouraged at this point in the recipe.  The sugar was taking a very long time to caramelize, and I was nervous to keep leaving it directly on the burner, because I could see the sugar caramelizing in the spiral pattern of the burner.  So, after a while, I put the pan into the oven.  Then I just kept checking it.  Between the burner and the oven, after a while MOST of the sugar looked caramel-colored, BUT there was still some sugar that had not even melted... wtf?  So I ended up stirring it with a teaspoon and it all melted and turned a nice, uniform color. I hope this doesn't put you off the recipe.  You could probably do the whole thing in the oven.  Also, be careful during this part, because sugar burns are bad news.
4. Ok! The most difficult part is over!  Now, mix together well: one can of evaporated milk, and one can of condensed milk, 3 large eggs, and 2 tsp of vanilla. Pour this mixture into the pan, on top of the caramelized sugar.
5.  Put the pan into a bigger pan, like a roasting pan, and pour 2 cups of really hot water into the pan. Make sure the water does not get into the smaller pan!
6. Put the whole thing in the oven, for about an hour.  You will have to stick a knife into it and see if it comes out clean.  It should not look so jiggly as to be liquid, however, you can't expect it to lose all of its jiggle.
7. Refrigerate it overnight or at least for several hours.  When you are ready to eat it, flip it over onto a platter and pour the rest of the syrup out of the pan onto the flan.

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