Sunday, April 13, 2014

What happened to your flan?

I made flan and it was a disaster.

So I'm being dramatic, it wasn't exactly a disaster...It tasted good.  A toasty caramelized layer on top of essentially a blob of vanilla custard. Who doesn't like a blob of vanilla custard?

But when I unmolded my flan, it was watery. As if some of the water in the pan I cooked it in had gotten into my if the flan hadn't completely set. Which is weird, because I cooked it about 20 minutes longer than the recipe called for (to account for my janky, inefficient apartment oven).

The recipe was great. I followed a recipe from Bon Appetit for "The Smoothest Flan."  It was pretty smooth. And the caramelized top turned out beautifully, it tasted like creme brulee. Mmmmmmm.

So what happened? Any thoughts?

Here's what you need:
  • 1/4 c. plus 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Here's what you do:
  • Preheat oven to 325°. Stir 1/4 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp. water in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until caramel is medium-dark amber, 5–6 minutes. Working quickly, divide caramel among ramekins, coating bottoms evenly. Let cool until hard.
  • Gently whisk remaining 1/3 cup sugar and eggs in a medium bowl. Add cream, half-and-half, and vanilla; gently whisk to combine (do not aerate). Let sit until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium pitcher to eliminate air pockets.

  • Place ramekins in a roasting pan lined with a kitchen towel; place pan on a large rimmed baking sheet. Divide custard among ramekins. Pour hot water into roasting pan to reach a little more than halfway up sides of ramekins. Cover pan with foil, crimping to seal. Carefully transfer to oven; cook for 25 minutes. Rotate pan. Cook until custard is set but center still jiggles when dish is nudged, 20–25 minutes longer.
  • Uncover roasting pan. Let flan cool in pan for 30 minutes. Remove ramekins and let cool completely. Cover with plastic; chill overnight.
  • Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. Unmold flans onto plates.
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