Thank you to Scot Haney, Kara Sundlun and the Better Connecticut crew at WFSB Channel 3 for letting me share Chef Prasad Chirnomula’s recipe for Mexican Flan as featured in my article “Southern Comfort” in Yankee Magazine (January/February 2014 issue).
WFSB 3 Connecticut
Recipe courtesy of Jocelyn Ruggiero and Yankee Magazine
total time: 1 hour 20 minutes;
hands-on time: 30 minutes
If the words “custard” and “caramel” sound intimidating, fear not: This creamy custard is as easy to make as a smoothie, and our step-by-step guide to making caramel will boost your confidence. The result: Silken puddings glazed with richly flavored amber sauce.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
11/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
11/4 cups evaporated milk
2 large eggs
11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt
Garnish: Toasted pumpkin seeds (salted or unsalted)
Preheat your oven to 325° and set a rack to the middle position. Set six 6-ounce flan molds or ramekins into a baking dish with sides at least 2 inches high. (A standard 9×13-inch pan works well.)
Next, make the caramel: Set a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, water, and cinnamon, and stir as the sugar begins to melt.
Once the mixture starts to bubble, stop stirring (to avoid crystallizing the mixture).
Instead, swirl the pan to blend. Cook until the caramel turns a deep amber color and thickens noticeably, 5 to 6 minutes.
Pour a bit of caramel into each ramekin, swirling it to coat all sides.
In the jar of a blender, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt; then blend until smooth, about 15 seconds.
Pour the custard gently into the ramekins, dividing it as evenly as possible; then transfer the baking dish to the oven. Pour enough very hot tap water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the custards are set (a knife will come out clean), about 40 minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven and set ramekins individually on a wire rack to cool for 25 minutes. Gently run a thin-tipped knife blade around the edges of the custards to loosen them; then turn each ramekin upside-down on a serving plate. Lift each ramekin, garnish custards with pumpkin seeds, and serve.
Yield: 6 servings