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Caramel Topped Flan

March 26, 2008

Finally! A Tuesdays With Dorie post!

caramel topped flan

Phew! Didn’t know if I’d ever get the hang of it! This week was Caramel Topped Flan! It was so easy! I didn’t even need a mixer, so cleanup was lovely. The caramel came together very well.

caramel beginning Caramel middleCaramel endCaramel pan

I ended up needing a bigger pan to float my flan. The cake pan I used was a 9″ rather than an 8″ so it wouldn’t fit in my 9×13. That’s ok, though, I just put it in my 1/2 sheet cake pan.

Flan in pan

It all worked out in the end! The texture is wonderful. It’s so smooth and creamy. I think it could have stood a little longer in the oven for the custard, but the caramel came out very well. It tastes almost like there is alcohol in the caramel, but there isn’t. Maybe it’s from the vanilla in the custard? Who knows. It tastes like the flan I’ve had out at restaurants, but with a finer texture, so I guess I did it right. It turned out a little shorter than I would have like, but that is probably due to the larger pan.

piece of flan

Oh well! As long as it tastes good, right?!?

Caramel Topped Flan

For the Caramel
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
squirt of fresh lemon juice

For the Flan
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1-1/4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a roasting pan or a 9-x-13-inch baking pan with a double thickness of paper towels. Fill a tea kettle with water and put it on to boil; when the water boils, turn off the heat.

Put a metal 8-x-2-inch round cake pan-not a nonstick one-in the oven to heat while you prepare the caramel.

To Make the Caramel: Stir the sugar, water and lemon juice together in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Put the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar becomes an amber-colored caramel, about 5 minutes-remove the pan from the heat at the first whiff of smoke.

Remove the cake pan from the oven and, working with oven mitts, pour the caramel into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the caramel evenly over the bottom; set the pan aside.

To Make the Flan: Bring the cream and milk just to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a 2-quart glass measuring cup or in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar. Whisk vigorously for a minute or two, and then stir in the vanilla. Still whisking, drizzle in about one quarter of the hot liquid-this will temper, or warm, the eggs so they won’t curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the hot cream and milk. Using a large spoon, skim off the bubbles and foam that you worked up.

Put the caramel-lined cake pan in the roasting pan. Pour the custard into the cake pan and slide the setup into the oven. Very carefully pour enough hot water from the kettle into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (Don’t worry if this sets the cake pan afloat.) Bake the flan for about 35 minutes or until the top puffs a bit and is golden here and there. A knife inserted into the center of the flan should come out clean.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the cake pan to a cooking rack and run a knife between the flan and the sides of the pan to loosen it. Let the flan cool to room temperature on the rack, then loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

When ready to serve, once more, run a knife between the flan and the pan. Choose a rimmed serving platter, place the platter over the cake pan, quickly flip the platter and pan over and remove the cake pan-the flan will shimmy out and the caramel sauce will coat the custard.

Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

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