Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ariela's Flan

My favorite flan recipe courtesy of my mother-in-law gets a few "Katie tweaks."

My favorite desserts are the creamy custards, I always gravitate towards them on menus and I just cannot get enough.  Every culture has a version of them; in France it's the cr√©me caramel, in Latin America it's flan, in my house it's...heaven on a plate!  My mother-in-law is Colombian and her recipe for flan is my absolute favorite, its perfectly creamy, sweet and fool-proof.  I am by no means a great baker. I am much better at cooking but I have made this dessert at least a dozen times and every time it has turned out absolutely perfect...and what guest wouldn't want to be served a piece of that?  I have added a few surprises over the years. First, I like to add in real vanilla; the tiny specks of black let you know that every bite is going to be sweetly floral, which is something I absolutely adore. Plus, who doesn't feel incredibly "gourmet" using real vanilla beans in anything, it's such a special ingredient.  Second I love to make a tart fruit sauce to drizzle over the top, creating a great contrast of the bitter burnt caramel, incredibly sweet custard and then the tangy fruit; nectar of the gods!  

Note: This recipe is better if the flan is allowed to cool overnight.



1/2 Cup of raw cane sugar

1 Can, 12 ounces, of organic sweetened condensed milk

1 Cup of pasture raised whole milk

2 Farm raised eggs

2 Vanilla beans, seeds scraped

Fresh organic raspberries, optional.

Fruit sauce

1 Bag organic frozen raspberries, any fruit will work.
1/2 Cup of raw cane sugar, this amount may need to be adjusted depending on the tartness of your fruit.

1/4 cup of raspberry liquor, I used Chambord.


For the flan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In sauce pan heat the sugar over medium high heat till melted, and golden in color.  Do not walk away from this process, the sugar burns very quickly. Carefully pour the sugar into an 8 inch round baking dish. Set aside. 
Your caramel should be a golden color.

In the water bath, ready for the oven.

In a blender combine both milks, eggs and vanilla seeds.  Blend till combined.  Pour over the caramel.  Place the pan into a hot water bath and bake for 45-60 minutes or until set, it will still be slightly "jiggly."  Turn off the oven and allow the flan to sit in the cooling oven for another 30 minutes.  Place in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.      

For the fruit sauce

In a sauce pan over medium heat place the frozen raspberries and sugar.  Cook till the sugar is melted and the mixture is bubbling, about 5 minutes.  Add the liquor and cook for 3 more minutes.  Remove from heat.  Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the mixture into the strainer.  With a rubber spatula push the liquid through the strainer, catching all the seeds.  Discard the seeds. Store sauce in the fridge till ready to serve.

To serve

Dip a butter knife in hot water and slice around the flan, separating it from the sides of the dish.  Place a serving dish on top and flip the flan over, inverting it onto the serving platter.  Dip the knife in the hot water and slice the flan.  Drizzle the rasp sauce over the top and sprinkle with the fresh raspberries.

Topped with the raspberry sauce.

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