Creme Caramel (Flan)

Source: Jim and Barbara Pistrang (inspired by internet recipes)

Serves 6

For the Caramel:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

For the Custard

2-1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 large eggs

For the Caramel, put sugar and water in a stainless steel saucepan and heat over medium heat. When the syrup starts to bubble and color, swirl the pan to spread the caramel evenly, then took untill it turns a deep amber, swirling the pan occasionally. Watch it, as it can turn too dark very quickly which would result in a bitter taste. Immediately pour the caramel into a mold that holds at leaset 4-1/2 cups (it can be metal, porcelain, or Pyrex), turning and tilting the mold to coat the bottom and sides. Work fast because the caramel hardens quickly. For individual portions, line 6 ramekins with the caramel.

For the Custard, put milk, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer, starting to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl with a fork or whisk. Gradually beat in the milk mixture, starting with a ladleful, until well blended. Pour into the caramel-lined mold or ramekins.

Place mold or ramekins in a large baking pan and pour in enough boiling water to the pan to come halfway up the sides of the mold or ramekins. Bake in a preheated 325 oven for 1 hour or until the custard has set. Take the mold or ramekins out of the pan of water, cool, then chill in the refrigerator, covered with platic wrap, for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Just before you are ready to serve, turn out the flan. Run a pointed knife all around the edges of the mold or ramekins, place a serving dish on top of the mold or ramekin and quickly turn upside down. Lift off the mold or ramekin. There will be a lot of caramel sauce so the dish should be deep enough to collect it. Think shallow bowl rather than dish.

Tags: gluten free