My dad is almost impossible to shop for, so over the years we have pared down the list of things to buy for birthday and Father's Day to easy things--subscriptions to conservative publications supplemented by homemade treats.
I make a screamingly good pound type cake called a Westerner cake that is his all-time favorite sweet treat. But I had just made him one of those for his birthday in May. So I was casting about for something else to make. Then I hit upon it! Flan! He LOVES flan.
So, off to the internet to search out flan recipes. I copied out several, but decided in the interest of "fool-proof-ness" (since this was my first attempt) I would use a version that sounded the easiest. I found the recipe on the Nestle baking website.
I made one mistake in the baking process. I didn't add HOT water to make the water bath, so the baking time took WAY longer to bake--because the oven had to heat up all that water first. I won't make that mistake next time.
Anyway, it was EASY, EASY, EASY. Very elegant. And absolutely delicious!
Here's the recipe:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Heat sugar in small, heavy-duty saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until dissolved and caramel colored. [MamaT note: I may have been conservative in my heat--it took lots longer than this to caramelize my sugar.] Quickly pour onto bottom of deep-dish 9-inch pie plate; swirl around bottom and sides to coat.
Combine evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla extract in medium bowl. [MamaT note: I just used my wire whisk to do this. This is a totally low-tech recipe!] Pour into prepared pie plate. Place pie plate in large roasting pan; fill roasting pan with warm water to about 1-inch depth.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Remove flan from water. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
To serve: run sharp knife around edge of pie plate. Invert serving plate over pie plate. Turn over; shake gently to release. Caramelized sugar forms sauce.
Mine released perfectly. Zteen said: "Mom, this is absolutely one of the best things you have ever made." It'd be good for a dinner party, because you HAVE to make it ahead, so you don't have to think about dessert on party day. And finally, I like that this is one large flan rather than the individual ramekins. You can cut this into pretty thin pieces because it was EXTREMELY rich. If I had divided it into 6 individual servings, I could not have finished a serving by myself. This way you can cut small and go back for seconds if you have room.
Yummy, yummy, yummy!