Friday, June 4, 2010

Flan & How to Carmelize Sugar

Hello Friends! Sorry I've been out of commission. My computer fan bit it slightly after finals and work/journal/moving has absorbed lots of time.

I made flan for one of my study groups during finals, and never did get it up here. So, here you are!

Flan (adapted from Food Network)
- 1 1/2 c white sugar
- 2 standard sized cans of sweet and condensed milk (I am a big off-brand shopper, but you can really taste the difference in this. I'd go with Eagle or Carnation for this)
- Milk to fill each of the cans
- 8 Eggs (It's a custard, what do you expect?)
- 1 Tbsp almond extract (I probably actually use more than this, but I'm an almondoholic)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 325. Caramelize the white sugar over medium heat. If you've never done this, I highly recommend this video. The first time I made this, it took me 4 tries to get it to work. Caramelizing sugar is a skill, you should have it! Here are some photos to walk you through the process.
Sugar in the saucepan
The sugar will start to clump up. This is the sugar starting to melt and it sticking to itself.
Then it gets really clumpy and starts to turn color. Almost there.
Ta Daa! Caramel!

2. Pour the caramel in the bottom of your dish. I use at 8" x 8" Pyrex for a nice, thick flan. If I had a prettier dish, I'd use that. Do this quickly, and be sure to tilt the dish so that the caramel spreads around evenly.
3. Whip the eggs until smooth. Then pour in the two cans of sweet and condensed milk. This stuff is weird, if you've never used it - you'll probably need a spatula to get it all out. Mix the sweet and condensed milk into the eggs - the s & c will try to sink to the bottom, but try your best to blend them together.
4. Fill the cans up with regular milk and pour that milk into the mixture.
5. Add in the almond, vanilla, and salt and stir until totally blended.
6. Pour the mixture through a strainer (to remove weird extraneous egg stuff) and into the baking container.

That weird texture on the surface? That's me forgetting to strain the mixture before putting it in the Pyrex.
7. Bake in a water bath. I usually use my 9" X 13" Pyrex for this. Place your baking dish in a larger, oven safe container. Fill outer container with warm water so that the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
8. Bake covered with aluminum foil 90 minutes or until center is firm.
9. Chill until serving. To serve, invert the flan onto a serving dish and let sit for a moment while the caramel pulls away before removing the baking dish.

No comments:

Post a Comment