FLAN FOR CHRISTMAS (SALLYE)
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finely minced pecans or walnuts
1. Finely mince pecans in food processor and set aside
2. Preheat oven to 325º
3. Set out eight ovenproof ramekins
Place a dishtowel in the bottom of a 9" x 13" deep baking pan and set aside.
Pour the 1-1/2 cups of sugar into a heavy skillet (I use my cast iron) over medium high heat.
Stir constantly until sugar melts and begins to turn a toasty brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
(Note: It will continue to cook a couple of minutes after removal from fire)
YIOU NEED TO PERFORM THIS QUICKLY WHILE SYRUP IS STILL HOT
Place the ramekins in a row and pour an equal amount of sugar syrup into each ramekin.
Swirl the sugar around in each ramekin to cover the sides and bottoms.
Set on dish towel in baking dish. Make sure to leave room between each one.
Slightly beat eggs and pour into medium sized mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup sugar, milk, vanilla and rum.
Mix by hand or on low speed of mixer until well blended and smooth and creamy.
Ladle equal amounts of custard into each ramekin over the sugar syrup coating
Sprinkle with a tablespoon or so of minced nuts and gently press down so the nuts will adhere to the custard
NOTE: THIS WILL BE THE BOTTOM OF THE FLAN WHEN SERVED
Carefully pour hot water into the baking dish over the dish towel until about half way up the outside of the ramekins, taking care not to splash any of the water into the custard mixture.
The dish towel will keep the ramekins from sliding around while you are handling them.
Place baking dish in preheated 325º oven and bake for about an hour.
Flan is done when a silver knife inserted into the custard comes out clean.
Remove from oven
Line up 8 small individual dessert dishes and unmold each ramekin onto its own dessert dish. (You may have to gently run a knife around the edges to unmold)
The syrup on the bottom will roll down the sides and surround the cooked custard.
Most people prefer this dessert served cold.
Optional garnishments can include bittersweet or mint sprigs or chocolate curls.