Thinking that everyone would be too full after dinner, we didn't serve dessert during the slideshow. I know, that is one mistake we won't be repeating. What were we thinking? No dessert? There will be a cake for my parents to slice next time!
The first time I tasted flan was when my dad's relatives brought over easy-to-make kits from the States. They weren't even from scratch!
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit Desserts
(Makes about 6)
1 3/4 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of whole milk
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 vanilla bean
1 cup + 7 tablespoons of sugar
1/3 cup of water
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 F. Have six ramekins (or cocottes if you need more) ready, make sure they fit in a large metal or glass baking pan (about 13x9x2 inches).
- Combine the cream, milk, and salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, add to mixture, and include the scraped bean in the saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove and let it steep while you make the caramel.
- In another heavy medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of water. Increase heat to high and let it boil - do not stir!
- Keep watch as the caramel will go from light to amber to dark to burnt! In about 10 minutes, it should be a nice amber. Remove from heat and immediately pour into the six ramekins. Tilt to coat the bottom entirely. Place ramekins back in baking pan.
- Whisk eggs, yolks, and the remaining 7 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the cream mixture, try to avoid creating foam (air bubbles don't create smooth flans!).
- Pour the custard through a small sieve into the ramekins equally.
- Carry the baking pan with the ramekins to the oven. Pour warm or hot water into the baking pan so that they reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to spill any into the ramekins!
- Bake flans until the center is gently set, about 40 minutes. Carefully take the baking pan out. Remove the water and let the ramekins cool.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, but overnight is best.
- To serve, run a sharp knife around the sides of the flan. I tried both flipping it out onto a plate and dipping the bottom of the ramekin in hot water for a few seconds to loosen the caramel. Both methods worked out fine for me!