The first weekend after being back from Germany, Mike and I decided to take it easy on Saturday and invited Beatrice and the Irish over for some Mexican BBQ, lots of beers and Beatrice and I decided to settle for a well known German drink called Hugo – a drink made with Elderflower syrup or liquor, champagne, mint and sparkling water.
Mike was responsible for the Tacos and I prepared a tasty Spanish Flan. After making the Flan I realized that its pretty much like a Crème Brulee just upside down, meaning you burn the sugar first and fill it into the ramekins, then top it with a vanilla custard and for the Crème Brulee you top the custard with sugar and then caramelize it with a torch. So same ingredients (a couple more eggs for the crème brulee) just a different touch on the caramel.
This time I went with the very traditional Vanilla Flan but think in the future I will experiment with some additional flavors like adding a little bit Amaretto, Kahlua or coffee liquor.
Here the recipe!
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Wipe out 6 ramekins to ensure that there is no dust in them. Set into a 9×13 glass baking dish.
- Heat 4-5 cups of water in a pot on stove for the water bath for the custard to bake in. .
- Put a heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat and add 3/4 cup sugar. With a wooden spoon, keep sugar moving constantly in skillet until sugar is completely melted, and of a rich medium brown color (caramelized).
- Carefully spoon caramelized sugar into each of the 6 ramekins or large dish. You have to hurry a bit as the caramel hardens instantly. Don’t worry if the caramel is not evenly spread in the ramekins, the heat of the water bath and the custard that goes on top will balance it out and liquefy it. After you are done with this step fill the pot with lots of hot water and set on the stove for the left over caramel in your pot to liquefy so that you can get it out of the pot.
- Pre-heat oven to 325F degrees.
- Heat up milk and cream in a saucepan. (Keep a close eye on the pan, so the liquid does not boil over.) Remove immediately.
- Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, beat slightly 3 eggs. Mix in 1/4 cup sugar.
- Stirring constantly, gradually add hot cream/milk mixture to egg yolk mixture. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Blend in vanilla extract. Ladle mixture into ramekins
- Carefully remove 1-2 ramekins to provide some extra room in the baking dish. Pour the hot water into the baking dish and set back the ramekins you removed to make room to poor the water in. (If using one large open baking dish, be sure that the dish is tall enough to accommodate the water necessary) If the water level does not reach 3/4 of the way up the sides of the ramekins, carefully pour more water in. Bake uncovered in water bath for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted half way between center and the edge of dish. Note: To ensure the custard does not over-cook, check doneness after 45 minutes, then every 3-5 minutes.
- Carefully remove each ramekin from the water bath. Set on a cooling rack until lukewarm, then chill thoroughly in refrigerator. This usually takes at least 1 hour.
- When ready to serve, un-mold by running a knife around the inside edge of baking dish. Place a small dessert plate on the top of the ramekin. With one hand under the ramekin and the other on top of the place, turn over. Tap the ramekin and the flan should drop onto the plate. If it does not, carefully “prod” the flan out of the ramekin with a small paring knife. It should slide out of the ramekin onto the plate.