Flan Almendrado (Almond Flan)

>> Sunday, May 8, 2011

Whenever we go out for Mexican food, which is quite often, the meal is always ended with a piece of flan. So it was a no-brainer for me to make flan for an outstanding end to our Cinco de Mayo dinner. If you've never had flan, I strongly, strongly encourage you to try it. Like, now. It's a silky smooth egg custard with a burnt sugar syrup. The best part about flan - it is so easy to make!

I always use the same recipe - why change it up if you've already got a winner?!? Of course the recipe is from one of Austin's best gourmet Mexican restaurants, so that helps a lot. Try it and I know you'll love it too!

Flan Almendrado
adapted only slightly from Fonda San Miguel Thirty Years of Food and Art cookbook

3/4 c sugar
2/3 c blanched, silvered almonds
1 1/2 (14-oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 c whole milk
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place oven rack in middle position. Put sugar in a round 9-by-3-inch nonstick cake pan. Using heavy oven mitts or tongs, place pan directly over medium heat to caramelize the sugar. Heat until sugar liquefies, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Do not touch the melted sugar - it will cause serious burns. When the hot liquid in the pan is a golden brown, remove from heat and set aside on a rack to cool and harden.

In a blender or food processor, process almonds until they are fairly finely ground. Add condensed milk, whole milk, eggs, yolks, and vanilla to almonds. Process until well blended. Pour custard mixture over prepared caramel. Place the cake pan in a larger, deeper pan (I use a roasting pan) and pour about an inch of hot water around the cake pan to make a water bath. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the flan is set in the center and no longer jiggles. Remove from oven and cool on a rack at room temperature. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

To serve, run a knife or thin spatula around the edge of the flan to release it from the sides of the pan. Place a 10-inch (or larger) serving platter on top of the pan. Turn the platter over and gently remove the cake pan, leaving flan on the serving platter. (If the flan doesn't easily come out, place the cake pan on the stove over medium-low heat for 30 seconds to 1 minutes to just barely melt the sugar. Try inverting the cake pan again, and the flan should come right out.) Using a flexible spatula, scrape up as much of the caramel as possible from the bottom of the pan and pour over the flan. Cut into triangular wedges and serve. Makes 8 to 12 slices.


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