Flan (Pronounced "flahn") is a Latin dessert made in Spain , as well as Mexico and South American countries. Well, I have never made flan, but I've tasted the homemade version before, and it is velvety and smooth and gorgeous! So I decided to give it a shot. One thing: the recipe calls for a 9"-round baking pan... Well, I used smaller ramekins, so the baking time was less. So keep that mind if that's what you decide.
End result? Such a nice idea to incorporate the orange. Very subtle. And it pairs well with the cinnamon in the pecans. A nice crunch with the smooth texture of the flan... oohhmmm, nom, nom, nom!
ORANGE-INFUSED FLAN WITH CANDIED PECANS
1 cup sugar
2 tsp fresh orange peel
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
juice of 1/2 orange
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Keep your baking dish(es) in the oven so they are warm when you are ready to bake. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt sugar until dissolved. As you wait for the sugar to melt, mix eggs, milks, orange juice and vanilla together. Add orange peel to dissolved sugar and stir well for about 20 seconds to let flavor release.
Pour dissolved sugar in baking dish, coating sides, too. Now pour egg mixture in and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for an hour. (For smaller dishes, it may only take 20 minutes. You must watch them to gauge doneness)To serve: cool completely, then invert onto plate and garnish with candied pecans (recipe follows).
1 cup pecan halves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
glass of ice water
Spread pecans on a baking sheet with oil, mixing to coat. Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. Combine the cinnamon, salt, water and vanilla in a saucepan and cook at medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir constantly. Test the doneness of this "candy", drop a small amount in a glass of ice water. If it drops as a little ball (not a string), it's ready. Add pecans and stir to coat completely. Turn out onto wax paper and separate with a fork.
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"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be." -- Molly Wizenberg