Flan - Adventures with Sugar, & baking towels ?!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Every few weeks we have group of sales reps in for training. The first group had mentioned biscotti's one day and I got this ... itch to make my Grandmother's delicious Mandel bread (Almond Biscotti). Then a few weeks later, we were overwhelmed with the vast number of tomatoes that were ripening in our garden. A few days later another training group came to the office and I brought in one of the many jars of salsa I had made.

Today, I brought in both Flan and Custard Pie. Somehow we started hording eggs and I have been looking for a way to use 3 dozen organic farm fresh eggs. Last night I used about a dozen.

The Flan was a new one for me -- caramelizing sugar was a chore (a quick chore) the first batch I swirled the pan a bit too feverishly and it crystallized. Scraping that concoction out of my pan wasn't much fun either. (Steel wool, hot water, and a wooden spoon work well)

The second batch went a bit better - and flowed into the pan fairly well. But seconds later was hard as a rock. Now, I have to admit I have never eaten Flan, but I have seen it and I have read the description and what I had was a bit lighter than mahogany, and hard like glass. But, I took a chance and finished the custard/pudding filling and stuck it in the oven. Another adventure. The recipe says to put a kitchen towel in the bottom of a large pan or roasting pan -- the only pan I had that would fit my 9-inch cake pan was the turkey roasting pan Jordan got me last year. And, a towel?! I figured there was something missing -- but I went with it.

After mixing the ingredients for the custard esc filling - I filled the cake pan and placed it in the oven. But, I wasn't finished I had to fill the roasting pan with boiling water half way up the cake pan. I used a ladle and it went pretty well -

After cooling I placed in the refrigerator and prayed it worked out ok... This morning when I got to the office I flipped the Flan onto a serving dish and gave it a try - (had my friend Sara try it first - just to be safe) the hard caramelized sugar had turned to a sugary syrup and it tasted delicious.

  • Make sure you really let the caramel turn to a dark brown - you need the color in the end to make it LOOK like caramel. 
  • The towel allows the water you pour into the baking dish to flow under the cake pan.
  • Don't use a hot pink towel it bleeds in the water -- harmless but could stain if spilled. 

Prep Time: 5 mins
Wait Time: 2 hrs to cool, 2-24 to refrigerate
Cook Time: 40 - 50 min (15 on the stove, 30 ish in the oven)

Flan - http://tiny.cc/lemonflan


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