Diva’s Flan

Serves 66 large “lightly beaten” eggs
1 ¼ cup water
1 (14 ounce) can “sweetened” condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) can “evaporated” milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350°FWater Bath Needed: Half way fill a roasting pan or rectangular cake pan with water and place it in the oven to heat. This pan must be large enough to eventually hold 6 ceramic 6-ounce dessert ramekins. If 2 pans are needed, place 2 in the oven for heating.Mix the Flan: In a mixing bowl, combine both milks, salt, eggs, water, and vanilla extract. All these ingredients must be mixed until thoroughly blended.

Spectacular Caramel: This is the key step to the dish. A heatproof silicone spatula and a nonstick skillet are required. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and then sprinkle the sugar evenly and cook. In approximately 5 minutes, the sugar will start melting. Soon, the melted sugar will appear to be light brown in color. The goal is to have the sugar melt evenly. If not, use the spatula for light stirring. The stirring may cause the sugar to clump-up, but don’t worry because the clumps will melt with continued stirring and heat.

After all of the sugar has melted and all clumps gone, pour the caramel into the 6 individual ramekins. The caramel will immediately start to harden. Now, give the flan mixture another quick blending and pour it over the caramel in each ramekin. Place the ramekins in the center of the water bath or baths and do not be concerned if a crackling sound is heard.

Allow a baking time of about 1 hour. Test the flan with a toothpick, knife or cake tester with an insertion into the center that, when removed, is clean. When testing, it is perfectly fine that the center of the flan jiggles a bit. Once cooked, remove the ramekins from the oven and let them cool for 1 hour. If the plan is to eat the flan, keep the water bath(s) heating in the oven. If not, after the cool down, cover the flan with plastic wrap and place the ramekins in the refrigerator until time to serve.

Unmolding the Flan: Prior to serving, place the ramekins in the hot water bath again. Allow them to sit for several minutes; cracking sounds may be heard again, which means the caramel is loosening up. Then, remove the ramekins from the hot water and run a thin knife blade between the flan and the sides of the ramekins. Place a dessert plate over each ramekin and flip the plate over so that the flan lands in the plate’s center. It will be beautiful to see caramel dripping down onto the plate. Do not be concerned with the left over caramel that remains in the remekins (it is not needed). If desired, garnish each plate with a sprig of mint.

Diva Tip:

• A 6-ounce ceramic ramekin for flan, crème brulee or soufflé (which are oven and microwave safe) are perfect for this dessert.

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