Some people call it flan. Some people call it crème caramel. Some people call it custard. I call it delicious.
People often think custard is a difficult dessert to make. It really is not. It has very few ingredients, is simple to prepare, and is best made ahead, making it a great party dessert. Here is the list of ingredients:
1 c. sugar
2 c. evaporated milk
1 vanilla bean
1 c. water
¼ c. additional sugar with 2 T. water
My very old recipe comes from a Spanish family friend. Preheat your oven to 350F and let’s get started!
2) Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrap out the fragrant little seeds. Pour the evaporated milk into a small saucepan and add the vanilla seeds. Oh heck, throw the whole empty pod in there too. Heat gently over low heat just until the milk is all nice and warm and making you want a cookie. Remove from the heat, and let the vanilla bean steep in the warm milk while you make the caramel sauce.
1) In another small saucepan, add the ¼ c. sugar and 2 T. water. Heat over low heat to melt the sugar.
2) Once the sugar has melted, turn up the heat to med-hi. You don’t need to stir the sugar, but do use a wet pastry brush to wipe down the inside walls of the pan, and swirl the pot around once in a while. Take care here, because as soon as the sugar syrup becomes amber colored, it can burn quickly.
3) When you have a nice caramel color, pour it very quickly into your mold, swirling the mold a little to spread the hot syrup. (I use a glass pan similar to a 9-10 inch deep-dish pie pan.) You may find the syrup firms up very fast. Don’t worry about it! It will get all ooey-gooey again in the oven.
1) Set your mold into a larger baking pan. Pour the egg mixture into the mold….that’s right…right on top of your firmed up caramel sauce.
2)Get some very hot water out of the tap and pour it into the larger baking pan so it comes halfway up the side of your custard mold. Carefully, carry it to the oven and pop the whole thing in there for 45 minutes to an hour. When you check on it, you want it to be gently set when you jiggle it.
3) Your house will smell fantastic by the time its done. Take it out of its water bath, and place the mold on a cooling rack. When cool, chill overnight or for several hours. When you’re ready to serve it, run a knife around the edge to loosen and unmold it onto a deep dish so all the lovely syrup can run all over the top.
I could eat the whole thing by myself, seriously.