Flan Glorious Flan

Flan  is  an  elegant  desert   that  is  fit   for   company   or   to  be  indulged in all  by  oneself . There are  many versions  of  flans  around the   world  and  the  one I am  going  to describe  here is  my favorite – the Mexican Flan ,  also known  as  caramel custard . This   recipe is remarkable  for  its   simple  ingredient  list   –  eggs , sugar, milk ,  and  pinch of  nutmeg or  vanilla – all  things  easily  found  in     any  kitchen.
True  it is not a  5  minute  desert . and  caramelizing   sugar  and   the   water bath  might   seem like a   lot   of   trouble .    But  believe  me  it is  not  all that  much trouble .  At  the   end  of  it  all   you have  an  impressive   elegant  desert   and  the best part is  – it is  all  home  made .
The  first  step is  to make  the  caramel .  Have the  flan molds  ready  on the  side .   Take 1/4 C  sugar in a   heavy bottomed  pan  and heat over  gentle  heat  till  it  turns  to a   dark gold  liquid .  Turn off  the   heat  and pour  the   caramel into   flan  molds .  Swirl the  molds  to  coat  the  bottoms  evenly with the  caramel . Set  aside .  As  you  proceed  you might  hear / notice  the  caramel  crack a  bit , Don’t  worry  about  this .  It  will all come  together  while  baking .
Combine the  milk  and  the  sugar in a heavy bottomed  pan  and  heat on medium  heat .  While  the  milk is  warming  up , break  the   eggs  and   the   yolks  into a  large   bowl   and   whisk  together  until   well  blended  and   frothy .


 After  the  milk  has   come  to a  boil  turn off the  heat  and  pour a couple  of  the  ladles  of   milk  into the   egg  mixture .  While   pouring  the  milk  continuously  whisk the  egg  mixture  to  prevent   curdling .    This  tempers  the  egg  mixture  and  prevents  it  from  curdling   when  adding  to the   milk  later .

Pour  the  tempered  egg  mix   into the  milk  this  time   stirring  the  milk continuously . This is  the   time  to  add  vanilla  or  nutmeg .  Return the  pot to the   stove and  turn on  the   heat  low .  Keep  stirring  for a  couple  of  minutes  until  you   see  the   custard  thicken a  bit .   If  you heat  for  longer   the  custard  might   stick / curdle   or   burn .  Do not  worry   about  under cooking   at   this  stage . Turn  the  heat off.

Pour  the   custard  into the  flan molds  over  the  caramel .  If  you think there  are  lumps in  strain   the  custard  first   before  transferring into the  flan mold.
Place  the  mold/s   in  a  oven safe  pan ,  large   enough to hold  them  .  Transfer to a  preheated oven  . Pour  some  hot  water into the  pan   enough  to  have  the  molds  sit in  1″  water or  about  half  way  up the  sides of the molds.
Bake for  40 mins  to 1  hr. until  the  flan is  cooked

The  flan is  done  cooking    when  the  top  hardens  a bit . At  this  point  if you  gently  shake  the  pan the  center of  the pan  will  wiggle  a  bit .  Remove   from the  oven . Let  cool  for  30 minutes .   Refrigerate for  at  least  an hour  before   serving .

When  ready to  serve    , take it  out  of the   fridge ,  cover  the  pan  with the   serving   dish  and invert  into the  serving  dish .  .

Keep  it  simple  and  let  the   dish speak for  itself ..
Enjoy !!!




Sugar                      – 1 Cup
Milk                         –  3  Cup (full  fat or  skim)
Eggs                       – 3 full  + 3  yolks
Vanilla  Essence   – 1 or  2   drops
Nutmeg                  – 1/8  tsp   (optional)
Salt                          – A pinch


Gather   your  supplies  and  ingredients . Preheat  the  oven  to  350 Degree  F.   Have  some  hot  water  ready.

Make  caramel by heating  ¼ c  sugar in a heavy bottomed  pan  over  gentle  heat  till  it  turns  to a   dark gold  liquid . Pour  the   caramel into the  waiting  flan molds  and   swirl  to  coat  the   bottoms evenly.  Set aside .

Heat milk in a  heavy bottomed  pan   with the   remaining   sugar .  Meanwhile   combine  the   eggs  and  the  yolks  in a  large  pan    and   whisk till the  mixture is   frothy .   Once  the   milk comes  to a boil  turn the   heat   off  and   slowly add   a  couple  of  ladles  of  milk  to  the     egg  mixture   while  whisking    the  mixture   continuously .  This   will  temper  the   eggs and  prevent  them  from  curdling .

Pour  the   tempered  egg  mixture  into  the  hot  milk ,  this  time  stirring  the  milk vigorously .  Add  the  vanilla,  nutmeg  and  salt .  Stir  to  combine  and  heat  the   custard  mix  on low heat  for a  couple  minutes    until   it begins to thicken.

Turn off  the   heat . Strain and  pour  the  custard  into  the   waiting  mold/s.

Place  the  mold/s   in  the   roasting  pan.   Pour  some  hot  water  into  the   pan  so that  the   molds  are   sitting  in  about  1 inch  water  or  the  water  is   about  half  way   up the   sides of  the   molds.

Put the  water  bath   in  the  oven  and  bake for   about  40 minutes    to an   hour   depending  on the   size  of  the  flans .  The  flan is   ready  when  the  custard begins to  harden on top . At  this  point  if  you  gently  shake  the  pan  the   center of  the  flans  should  wiggle  just a bit .

Remove  the  molds  form  the  oven . Cool  for  30  minutes  and  refrigerate  for at  least  an hour or   till  ready to serve.

When  ready to  serve ,  run  a  knife  along  the  side  of  the   mold  to  loosen  the   flan   and  invert  it  onto a  serving  plate .

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