Flan - ?


Flan is a delicious Hispanic version of egg custard served as a dessert. What makes it unique besides the flavors in the custard is the carmelized sauce.

I happened upon a recipe for flan in an online version of the L.A. Times®. It looked so good I had to include it in Food Nirvana.

This recipe was adapted from that used by the La Golondrina Cafe. That restaurant serves the flan with a sprinkling of dried cranberries, toasted pecans, whipped cream and an optional strawberry sauce.

I know you will really enjoy flan, with or without the restaurant accompaniments. Beyond that, you might try some flavor variations in the recipe. For example, my grandmother Cora used to make a dynamite egg custard pie using nutmeg as the primary spice. It was very nice and a bit of nutmeg could be quite additive to flan instead of using the amaretto in the recipe provided below. Have fun trying different spices, like cinnamon.

Ingredients: (12 servings)

3/4 cup of sugar

Juice of 1 orange, about 1/2 cup

5 jumbo eggs or 6 extra large eggs

2 1/2 (14-ounce) cans of condensed milk

1 1/2 (12-ounce) cans of evaporated milk

1 3/4 cups of milk

1 tablespoon of amaretto liquor

1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup of water


Combine the 3/4 cup of sugar with the 1/2 cup of orange juice and the 1/4 cup of water in a medium size, heavy-bottom saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to cook and watch carefully until the sugar caramelizes and turns an amber color. Be careful not to overcook/overheat the sauce (if it turns dark it is ruined).

Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately pour the contents into a 13-by-9-by-2 inch glass baking dish and allow the carmelized sauce to cool to room temperature.

Heat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, then whisk in the condensed, evaporated and regular milks. Whisk in the amaretto and the vanilla, and then pour that mixture into the baking dish.

Place the dish inside a large roasting pan (the roasting pan must be big enough so that there is a 1-inch clearance on all sides), or broiling pan with high sides, and fill it with enough hot water so that it comes halfway up the side of the glass baking dish. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until a knife inserted near the center of the flan comes out clean.

Remove the baking dish from the water bath and allow the flan to cool to room temperature. Place it in the refrigerator, loosely covered with aluminum foil, to chill until cold, preferably overnight.

Invert onto a platter and serve immediately either plain or with accompaniments like those named earlier.