Friday, October 10, 2008

Spanish caramel flan

I love to try new things and recipes for guests... We had a family gathering and when I told my mom I was going to make Spanish caramel flan, a flan without condensed milk I received fake smiles and nods from everyone in the kitchen... The reason? My mom makes the best Condensend milk flan I have ever tried, a traditional recipe in Brazil that is so easy to make that I think no one bothers to try a new recipe!

I had been willing to try a different flan recipe for quite some time... and on the way to my parents' house I bookmarked the Spanish flan from the book Perfect Desserts - a collection of over 100 essential recipes (Parragon Publishing) that I got from a friend. Well... the dessert turned out superb and no one was disappointed!

For the Custard
2 1/2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
1/2 orange with 2 long, thin pieces of rind removed
1 vanilla bean, split, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks

For the caramel
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
a few drops of orange juice

1 5-cup flan dish (quiche dish), a round mould or 4 to 6 ramekins
1 large baking/roasting pan for the water bath

1) Pour the milk into a pan with the orange rind and vanilla bean and extract. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and stir in half cup of sugar. Set aside 30 minutes to infuse.

2) Meanwhile make the caramel: put 1/2 cup sugar and 4 tablespoons of water in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, then boil without stirring until the caramel turns deep golden brown. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and squeeze in a few drops of orange juice to stop the cooking. Pour into a lightly greased flan dish or ramekins and swirl to cover the base.

3) Return the pan of infused milk to the heat and bring to a simmer. Beat the whole eggs and egg yolks together in a heatproof bowl. Pour the warm milk into the eggs, whisking constantly. Strain into the flan dish.

4) Place the flan dish in a baking pan and fill with enough boiling water come halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake in a preheated oven 325° F/160° C for 60-75 minutes until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the flan dish from the baking pan and set aside to cool completely. Cover and let chill overnight. To serve, run a metal spatula round the flan, then invert onto a serving plate, shaking firmly to release.


Susan from Food Blogga said...

This is perfection, indeed.

Mamasphere said...

It's as if the Brasilians don't believe in desert unless it has condensed milk in it, lol.

You recipe sounds easy and delicious! I should make it for my husband (we'll see though, I hardly have any time in the kitchen anymore).

Peter M said...

Cris, I love these large family style flans...wonderful for dessert.

Anonymous said...

Oh, delicious! I've always wanted to make this. I've never made it before. Your dessert looks so good. Thanks for sharing it with us.


Andrea said...

I adore a good flan and this looks beautiful!

Elle said...

I have always wanted to try making flan-and without condensed milk? Even better!

Dazy said...

I've always wanted to make flan. But the whole caramel making process gives me the creeps! I tried once, and it failed. May be I should give it a try once again bcoz this looks amazing!

Anonymous said...

I am looking for a pan exactly like the one in the photo. i circular pan with a whole in the middle. would you have any idea as to where i could get one? I've looked everywhere it seems...

Cris said...

Hi Stacy, this type of pan is called ring mold or pudding mold, I believe you can find it at any party store or even stores like Target or Wal-Mart carry them. Thanks for visiting!