Saturday, November 24, 2007

Guest Post: Flan

A few weekends ago, my violent-drunk of a roommate made chocolate souffles. He's already written the text so it would be easy for me to blog it but, just to spite him, I am going to refrain from putting up the post until the cut on my wrist has healed. Yep, gotta love those hedges.

Instead, I am here to blog flan! The charming and vivacious Nichole mentioned that she had an old family recipe for flan and I thought that it would be fun if we cooked it and turned it into a guest post. Before I get to the actual cooking, I HAVE to post a picture of her fridge. She lives with 5 other girls so, as you can imagine, their fridge is a real work of art:
Do pay attention to the giant, family pack of tortillas and multiple (FOUR!!! edit: Nichole has informed me that there is a hidden fifth carton somewhere in there) cartons of eggs.
Here's the door:
Nothing terribly exciting here but I really enjoyed checking out the fridge and the hieroglyphic-like code found on all of the food. Very entertaining.

Let's get serious:
Very simple, nothing too fancy. Preheat oven to 350.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk, the evaporated milk, and the tablespoon of vanilla extract into a bowl. Crack and beat three eggs and add to the milk/vanilla mixture. Blend to combine. Allow to sit so any air bubbles have a chance to dissipate.

Make the caramel. Pour 3/4 cup of sugar into a pan and turn to med-low heat. Keep an eye on the pan or this can happen:
If this happens, we discovered that burnt sugar is water soluble so add some water, bring to a boil and that'll make clean-up a cinch.

Start fresh and this is close to what you want:
Pour this caramel into the bottom of a pie tin:
Pour the egg/milk mixture over the caramel:
As you can see, we have already placed the pie tin in a shallow roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until the water is just under the rim of the pie tin.
The water is cloudy because some of the custard mixture spilled into it.

We checked on ours after 40 minutes. Nichole gave it a jiggle but the custard jiggled back because it wasn't quite set. We sent it back into the oven and waited another 10 minutes. This time, it was done.
Nichole says it's best to let the flan cool until it's no longer warm but, after 25 minutes, we could no longer wait. Here's a slice:
Yum-yum, I had seconds. And so cheap! I don't have exact food cost numbers but Nichole mentioned that the entire recipe cost something around 3 bucks. Many thanks to Nichole and maybe we can cook something else out of your family cookbooks, yes?

I must say, I had an enormous amount of fun collaborating on this project. It also makes me wonder about some of my other readers. Do any of you have any recipes that you'd like to share with me? I am more than happy to travel to your kitchens and pay for the ingredients. Let me know!!!!

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