I had no Plan
To make a Flan
Okay, bad joke. Granted.
Without wasting any more time, let me go onto the recipe. But let me tell you I actually wanted to make a steamed Caramel Pudding the kind my/your/neighbor's Mom used to do in India, right in the Pressure Cooker. I did not know about Flan but again I DID NOT want to use the pressure cooker. I am not too sure with the cooker when it comes to these sort of things. But I found this . So it all worked out for the good.
I have used the oven and a water bath which is very different from the bird bath. The water bath creates a steaming sauna like effect in the oven and provides a steady uniform heat source which lets stuff like puddings and custards slowly cook. The moisture prevents them from getting dry and rubbery. So, there.
The Caramel Pudding or Flan, as you like it, was really delicious.The orange zest gave a lovely flavor to the pudding. It was silky, smooth and oh so perfect sliding down my mouth. I made some changes to the recipes I followed and I am totally happy with what I got.
You can use ramekins to make individual servings. I needed a serving of at least 10 and so decided to make one whole pudding which I then cut and served.
Make it for the Holidays. Your guests are going to love it. Have a great Thanksgiving
Baked Caramel Pudding or Flan
Recipe adapted from here and here. Serves 10.
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Heat 1/2 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water in a heavy flat skillet, swishing constantly until it melts and turns a dark golden color. The color as I learned depends on how you want your caramel to taste. A dark brown will have a little bitter taste which in my case perfectly complemented the sweet pudding. If you want a milder taste, go with golden brown color. Also it is best to use a shallow pan than a sauce pan for making the caramel sauce. The D-man did this part and he was really good at it.
Remove from heat and immediately pour into a round baking dish(I used a 6" Corning French white). Swish the liquid around so it evenly coats the bottom. You can also use oven proof ramekins(about 8 should be good for this measure)
In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat 4 eggs.
2 cups Whole milk(Better if you use Evaporated Milk),
1 Cup Condensed Milk,
1 tsp vanilla
Beat lightly with a whisk to get a smooth mix. You can taste and check the sweetness at this point.
Note: Original recipe called for 3 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup sugar and 6 eggs.I did my changes as noted here.
1 tbsp orange zest and mix it in. This does lend a beautiful citrus flavor.
By now the caramel would have set in the baking dish. Pour the egg mix in it.
Put the baking dish(or ramekins) in an oven safe tray(this will serve as the water bath). Pour hot water in the oven safe tray(around the baking dish) so that it comes almost half way up of the baking dish.
Put in the oven. It is now pre-heated.
Bake at 325F for 65-80minutes or until a knife comes out clean. The pudding will look a little jiggly but that is fine. Carefully take it out from the oven. Be careful with the water bath, the water will be hot !!! Take the baking dish out of the water bath and let it cool on the counter top.Once completely cool put in the refrigerator and chill for 6-8 hours (I did overnight)
While serving you have to un-mold. Run a knife around the edge of the bowl. Cover the bowl with a flat serving plate. Holding the plate, flip the whole thing. Tap the baking dish to loosen the pudding. It will slip onto the plate and the delicious caramel sauce will be all around. Spoon some of that sauce onto the pudding and chill further till serving or serve immediately.
If you also want to create yummy desserts like this flan, some online colleges offer culinary classes .