Flan

May 5, 2011

A while back Tamar over at Joy of Kosher asked me the come up with a Mexican themed dessert for the Mexican Fiesta themed Purim sudah she was putting together. She said something along the lines of “of course not flan, since it has to be parve”. Naturally I took that as a challenge and decided then and there to come up with a delicious parve flan to round out her meal. There has been so much going on since then (and so many other things I wanted to post) that I haven’t had a chance to share this recipe yet, but Cinco de Mayo seems like is the perfect day to share this delicious recipe.

Flan happens to be one of my favorite desserts. I love the combination of the creamy custard and the caramel sauce. I had tried to make parve flans a couple of times in the past using soymilk and non-dairy creamers, but hadn’t been happy with how they turned out. This time I used coconut milk and it turns out that is the secret to making a rich, luscious and dairy-free flan. The coconut flavor in these is very subtle but plays nicely with the caramel flavor. They were one of the most popular things I have made around here, and that is saying something.

 

Flan

2 cups Thai style coconut milk
3/4 cup soymilk
Pinch of salt

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

2 large eggs
4 large yolks
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.

Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and cook without stirring until syrup turns deep amber. Brush down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan occasionally while the syrup is cooking. Quickly pour caramel into six 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups. Using oven mitts immediately tilt each ramekin to coat sides. Set ramekins into 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Place the coconut milk, soymilk and salt in a microwave safe container and heat until warm but not hot. This can also be done in a saucepan.

Whisk eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and remaining ½ cup of sugar in a medium bowl just until blended. Gradually and gently whisk cream mixture into egg mixture without creating lots of foam. Pour custard through small sieve into prepared ramekins. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins.
Bake until centers of flans are gently set, 30-40 minutes. Transfer flans to rack and cool. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. Cover and chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead.)

To serve, run small sharp knife around flan to loosen. Turn over onto plate. Shake gently to release flan. If the flan does not release easily place the bottom of the ramekin in a bowl of hot water for a few seconds. Carefully lift off ramekin allowing caramel syrup to run over flan.

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10 Comments

  1. I love flan, and this looks perfect. I’m so with you on the coconut milk. It is not pumpkin season anymore, but I have made pumpkin flan before (Gilda Angel, Sephardic Holiday Cooking) and coconut milk would be great in that recipe.

  2. I’ve been saving this recipe ever since I saw it! I’m trying it out today, minus ramekins and quadrupled, hehe! I’ll let you know how it goes! I’m hoping the pyrex casserole dishes will do the trick!

  3. Wonderful recipe,thank you for sharing.:-) I am sure I am going to appreciate this more than Creme Caramel,owing to the coconut milk.Love its flavor.
    “Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and cook without stirring until syrup turns deep amber. Brush down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan occasionally while the syrup is cooking. ”
    May I ask why are we brushing the pan sides with a brush?

    • Brushing the sides of the pan with a wet brush helps make sure there are no undissolved crystals of sugar that might make the finished caramel re-crystalize. It is not super critical in a recipe like this but I include it in all my caramel making instructions.

    • I would use an 8 inch round pan with at least two inch high sides. You may need to cook it a bit longer. It is done when the sides are firmly set but the center still jiggles slightly when you shake the pan.

  4. Hi, I would love to make this for a Sukkos meal, how far in advance can this be made and kept inthe bride ? , Can you double the recipe and bake in 2 separate 8 inch round pans ? Thank you so much

    • I wouldn’t make this more than a day or so ahead. The custard may separate or get a strange texture if it sits too much more than that. It should work fine to double it and bake it in two 8 inch pans. the cooking time might be a bit different so cook it until the edges are set but the middle has a slight jiggle. Enjoy!

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