While I was home for Christmas last month, my family and I also made flan. It was the dessert for our Basque Christmas celebration. The recipe came from the same Basque cookbook as the Paella recipe. Both are well developed and flavorful.
You begin by making the caramelized sugar for the top of the flan. The ingredients for the caramelized sugar are 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. We mixed all these ingredients in a saucepan.
We simmered this until the melted sugar water was golden brown. The recipe states this will take about 10 minutes. Our sugar took longer to brown.
While the sugar browned, we prepared the custard. The ingredients for the custard are 4 cups whole milk, 1 cup half and half, 6 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
We poured the half and half and milk into a saucepan. We used a candy thermometer to heat the milk up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the milk reached 160 degrees, we tempered the beaten eggs with the hot milk. We poured a small amount of hot milk into the eggs, whisking the entire time.
We then poured the warmed, milky eggs into the hot milk.
When the sugar was brown, we poured it into a casserole dish. The recipe suggests using individual ramekins or a bundt pan. We had neither so we used a casserole dish. It worked perfectly. If you use a bundt pan, it should have a flat bottom.
We tilted the dish until the caramelized sugar coated all the sides of the dish.
We poured the custard over the caramelized sugar.
For some reason I have no pictures of the water bath we used to bake the flan. Trust me that we put the pan with the custard into a larger pan. We poured warm water around the custard, and baked it for 55 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. It was done when we inserted a knife near the center and it came out clean. It was still wobbly.
We let the flan cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving. When we were ready to serve, we slide a knife around the sides of the dish.
We inverted the flan over our stylish and attractive serving platter and gave the dish a few shakes.
It came out perfectly!
The texture was phenomenal. It was creamy and luscious. The caramelized sugar added an additional layer of sweetness. This recipe matches any restaurant flan you have had. It's smooth and full flavored. It didn't last the night, and we ended up making it again the next day.