Makes 8 to 12 slices
Flan is one of the most traditional desserts in the entire Hispanic-influenced world—from Spain and Portugal to Cuba and Puerto Rico, all the way to Mexico and Central and South America. It comes in a variety of flavors and textures, depending on the local tastes and agricultural products of each different region. When Fonda San Miguel opened in 1975, few, if any, Mexican restaurants in Texas offered flan as a dessert option. In the early days of the restaurant, a loyal customer named Ana Maria generously shared her family's heirloom recipe from the Mexican state of Guanajuato, and it has been a customer favorite ever since. It's very dense and creamy, balanced by a crunchy almond crust on the bottom.
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup blanched, slivered almonds
1-1/2 14-ounce cans Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 cup whole milk
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place oven rack in middle position. Put sugar in a round 9-by-3-inch cake pan. Using a heavy oven mitt or tongs, place the pan directly over medium heat to caramelize the sugar. Heat until the sugar liquefies, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Do not touch the melted sugar-it will cause serious burns. When the hot liquid in the pan is a golden brown color, remove from heat and set aside on a rack to cool and harden.
In a blender, combine the almonds, condensed milk, whole milk, eggs, yolks, and vanilla. Process on medium speed until well blended. Pour custard mixture over the prepared caramel. Place the cake pan in a larger, deeper pan and pour about an inch of hot water around the cake pan to make a water bath. Cover the flan loosely with a foil tent and place the larger pan on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until flan is set in the center (it will no longer jiggle). Remove from the oven and cool on a rack at room temperature. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.
To serve, run a knife or thin spatula around the edge of the flan to release it from the sides of the pan. Place a 10-inch (or larger) serving platter on top of the pan. Turn the platter over and gently remove the cake pan, leaving flan on the serving platter. Using a flexible spatula, scrape up as much of the caramel as possible from the bottom of the pan and pour over the flan. Cut into triangular wedges and serve.
Fonda San Miguel:
Thirty Years of Food and Art
by Tom Gilliland and Miguel Ravago
Text by Virginia B. Wood
Pages: 240; Color Photos: 140
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page modified February 2007
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