After missing the last 2 TWDs, I was determined not to let another week go by without making this important appointment. So as soon as I got a chance , which turned out to be Wednesday night the week before, I got started on my Caramel-Topped Flan, this week’s recipe chosen by Steph of A Whisk and A Spoon.
Now I’ve never made Crème Caramel before, even though I do enjoy it, and was amazed by just how quick it was to make. The caramel, given the 1/3 quantity I was making, was done in 5-7 minutes tops. The custard itself took only about 5 minutes to heat up and mix together. The only slight hassle is having to set up the baking tray with hot water to bake the custard, but honestly speaking, as long as you can read and follow instructions, its really not a big deal.
After 35 minutes in the oven, my caramel has puffed up slightly, as the book said it would so I slid it out, ran my knife around the edge to loosen it and let it cool. I unmolded mine the next day after a night in the fridge and it slid out very easily with the caramel oozing out to coat the custard. The taste, needless to say, was divine – as all Dorie’s recipes are.
To see the rest of the TWD's efforts, please check out the blogroll here.
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
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a roasting pan or a 9-x-13-inch baking pan with a double thickness of paper towels. Fill a teakettle 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.
Makes 6 to 8 Servings