Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Flan. A classic dessert. In the Philippines it's usually called leche flan. It's the same name either way. Flan is flan is flan. I won't go into world history of it. Oyster Food & Culture would probably do a better job at giving you a descriptive history of this sweet dessert. I just eat them.
In the fridge were 4 egg yolks. I had tried making some meringue earlier in the week, only to have it end up being an epic fail. I was about to make an egg yolk scramble, but my mom had suggested leche flan. Ah, yes! One of my favorite desserts of all time. It was also something she had seen her ninang (pronounced nee-nahng, meaning godmother in Tagalog) cook many times before when she was a child.
The last time I had some was when I was in the Philippines exactly a year ago. My aunt makes then SUPER delicious. Getting a hold of those small tin can pans and diving in into the custard with all that syrupy goodness underneath. I was in heaven! This is how my mom remembered it and my interpretation in creating it. The result is one that brings back fond memories of her hometown.
The lemon adds a balance to the sweetness of the syrup. The key to making this is "low & slow".
This will make 3-4 small individual serving.
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c water
In a sauce pan, melt the sugar over low flame until it's melted into a brown caramel liquid. make sure to stir occasionally to keep it from burning. There shouldn't be any lumps of sugar left. When it's fully liquefied, slowly add in the water. Not all at once. Then stir until the it forms into a syrup-like consistency.
Here's a good way to know when it is ready. Scrape a line down the center of the pan with a wooden spoon and if it takes a while for the syrup to cover the open gap your syrup is done. Don't ever cook it or at that point your making candy.
Then take 4 small tart containers or mini load pans and pour a nice layer of syrup in each. Make sure to coat the bottom evenly and let it harden. Set aside.
1 c evaporated milk
4 egg yolks (beaten)
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Combine all ingredients into a small sauce pan on a low flame and stir constantly until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is slightly heated. Roughly 10-15min. Stirring constantly will help avoid the egg yolks turning into scramble yolks and combine all ingredients together. Then strain the custard mixture well into a bowl to remove any egg bits that may have cooked. Then ladle the mixture into the tart cups or mini loaf pans.
Cover the tart cups with wax paper or parchment paper and place in a steamer for 1 hour or until the custard is firm to the touch.
Note: You may use the water bath method if you don't have a steamer. Place the the tart cups in large deep roasting pan and put in an oven preheated to 325˚F. When the pan is in the oven, fill it with lukewarm water half way up the tart cup or mini loaf pan. This will prevent cross contamination of water and custard. The bake for 1 hour or until custard is nice and firm.
When finished, let it cool before placing on a plate. Serve with some ice cream or if you're going the Filipino-style serve with some Halo Halo. (I'll be doing that dessert soon.)