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Suvir Saran

Flan: The Topic

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RG: Your hen is gorgeous ... what a pretty bird!

Theabroma

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Greetings, gang, what an interesting thread on flan. And Ranchito, that is indeed a beautiful hen. Thanks for sharing her picture with us.

I'm jumping in late here and veering off into yet another flan: Flan Napolitano. Some twenty years ago, a quite elderly and patrician friend who was born and raised in the elegant area of Guadalajara that is now Los Arcos gave me a recipe for this flan. I wish that I could reproduce it for you in her extraordinarily cultivated handwriting! She insisted that that this is the flan de los flanes and was what their cook prepared for the family's guests in those days. I would guess that 'those days' were the 1940s or perhaps a bit earlier.

Has anyone tried this one?

Flan Napolitano En Memoria de Francisca

One can condensed milk

One can evaporated milk

A little whole milk to thin the mix slightly (if necessary)

5 or 6 eggs

2 Tbsp vanilla

1/2 kilo cream cheese (about 1.1 lbs)

5 Tbsp white sugar

Caramelize the sugar and use it to coat the bottom of the flan pan.

Blend all remaining ingredients in a blender until very smooth. Pour into la flanera and place in a baño maría. Cook for approximately 1 hour, or until a silver knife inserted in the flan comes out clean.

Cool, invert on a serving plan, y listo.

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Has anyone tried this one?... 1/2 kilo cream cheese (about 1.1 lbs)

Not me. Cream cheese, eh? Does sound good! But I'll admit I've not heard of it.

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Welcome to egullet Apicio. Your mother's cooking sounds fantastic. I became a big fan of Filipino cooking when I was in Hawaii. Do they do flan there too?

Yes, Rancho Gordo those are very aristocratic looking hens that I'm sure have fine eggs. What breed are they? We had bantams and game hens when I was growing up and they had wonderful eggs as they should have done since as pets they had the run the vegetable gardens.

The flan napolitano sounds delicious Esperanza. I wonder why napolitano? It sent me off to my cookbook collection and there in Luisa de Calderon's Técnicas de la Alta Cocina (another of these aristocratic productions but later published in 1979) is a recipe for flan de queso. This is pretty much the same, one can condensed milk, one of natural or evaporated milk, 5 eggs, 250 grams cream cheese.

What do you think about the cream cheese? Was this before the wholescale invasion of Queso Feeeladelfia into the Mexican food scene? Or part of that?

And rambling on in a free associating kind of way, this reminded me that one of my neighbors makes a great savory flan de queso that she serves with a salsa. I must ask her for the recipe again.

Rachel

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Apacio:

If you are looking for less egginess, perhaps you should try reducing your whole eggs to 3 and your egg yolks to 2 which is what Cooking Illustrated's recipe for creme caramel calls for (along with 1.5 cups each of whole milk and heavy cream and 2/3 cup of sugar).

Yes, I think you are right and that's why the Bayless recipe worked better for me than the original Kennedy.

Now, your custard pan with cover is most probably designed for steaming or cooking in a pressure cooker, to avoid boil overs.

Is that what the lid is for? I thought it was to keep the top (bottom?) moist but I really didn't know. I just love a gadget!

re: Quick release or slow release in a pressure cooker:

It's not Quick release! Even with the lid, the caramel spilled out and all the water was brown in the pressure cooker. I followed Caroline's Magico recipe with 1 cup sweetened condensed and one cup regular milk. I added no additional sugar and it was plenty sweet. 4 whole eggs.

Next I'll try it in the pressure cooker again, this time with slow release.

Then I'll try the Bayless in the pressure cooker.

I think it's actually a little easier with water bath in the oven. In the pressure cooker, by the time you heat up enough water to reach the sides of the flan mold, it takes a good long time to build up the correct pressure. And if you have to do a slow release, you haven't saved any time, really. But maybe the thrill is the denser texture.

Caroline:

Yes, Rancho Gordo those are very aristocratic looking hens that I'm sure have fine eggs. What breed are they? We had bantams and game hens when I was growing up and they had wonderful eggs as they should have done since as pets they had the run the vegetable gardens.

The one in the pic is a Barred Rock. We have four of those, plus a black Australorp and an Araucana (blue eggs!). None rare but all pretty fun and good layers! I was told if they didn't start laying by Xmas, they probably wouldn't lay until Spring. Surprise! They are very prolific, even with the cold and short days. It's still a thrill to go out to the henhouse and find several little surprises waiting for me. And between the chickens and composting, I have hardly a bucket of trash each week!

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Just an aside....when I've had a plethora of eggs, I've made pound cakes, which freeze nicely, and make good gifts.

Also, Rancho...have you gotten into the Spanish tortillas? They use up a lot of eggs, and they're wonderful.

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To Caroline,

Oh yes we do. We call it redundantly as “leche flan.” And it is the mainstay of desert tables of all manners of celebrations and town fiestas all over the islands. It is always made like your “flan magico” sans the cream cheese and flavored with rasped lime zest. Because we really do not have a dairy industry to speak of there and Australia is so close, we use what can be imported, that is evaporated and condensed milk. We indulge our ingenuity though on the eggs. Kitchens on tight budgets use whole eggs, well stocked pantries use only the yolks and the really fastidious cooks only use yolks from eggs laid by indigenous free range chickens. Eggs from battery fed white leghorns and Rhode island reds simply won’t make the cut. Which brings me to another point:

For Rancho,

Can you show us a picture of the blue egg laying aurocana? I have seen Japanese roosters with very long trains of tail feathers and once drove a long way from Toronto to visit a farm raising guinea fowls. And if there was ever one thing that impressed me about Martha Stewart it was the fact that she kept a few layers to supply her with fresh eggs. What do you feed them? Have you tried flax seeds to make them lay omega 3 eggs? I read somewhere that in some parts of China chickens are fed mostly dried fish meal so KFCs there taste like fish and chips.

For everyone:

There is a revived old discussion about five threads above that dealswith cooking flans in pressure cookers but frankly those hissing vessels scare me silly.

Depending on one’s preference, the texture will range between tender creaminess to chewy firmness. But another consideration is when unmolded, would the flan be able to stand poised and firm and not colapse in a flat puddle on the plate. So no matter what recipe you are following and no matter what method of cooking you are using, the flan is done when the centre is cooked. This is the point when only the centre jiggles when you gently nudge the pan, around the end of an hour in a 350 degree oven sitting in another pan filled with boiling water reaching to half the height of the flanera. Continue baking for another 10 to 20 minutes if you prefer it chewier.

Apicio

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Apicio...your flan sounds wonderful. I guess that we can thank the Spaniards because everywhere they went, they seem to have left a flan legacy. What part of the PI are you from? And what are you now doing in Canada? Have you found any good Filipino food there?

Also, regarding the flan, are there any other toppings you ever use? Sometimes in Mexico, I have gotten flans with Kahlua poured over, among other liqueurs.

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So many interesting things going on. Yes RG, I think I do use slow release. I don't want our tap water coming anywhere near what we eat. And getting enough water from the garafon to cool the pressure cooker is awkward and expensive. Ovens work well in the States. They are really a pain here with no insulation and wildly varying temperatures. So the pressure cooker is better for many reasons if you live at 7000 feet in Mexico.

Apicio, like Jaymes I'd love to know about variants on flan leche in the Philippines. Here, for example, people like the caramel a little burnt and bitter because that cuts the sweetness of the flan. They also make it flavored with coffee, pine nuts, almonds (very common), hazelnuts, orange (also very popular), sesame seeds, coconut (another very popular one), pineapple, sweet potato, and who knows what else,

Rachel

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New results: Pressure cooker, using the Flan Magico recipe and slow release. It came out fine and exactly what one would expect. The slow release is the real trick. I think 25 minutes might be too much but it's probably a matter of taste.

Next step is Flan Magico in a water bath, just to know the differences. My hunch is I prefer a more Euro verison, like Bayless, but we'll see.

Can you show us a picture of the blue egg laying aurocana?

Right now, I only have this one of her as a chick. She's the weirdest and possibly the stupidest and most feral. I'll try and get a recent shot. She has weird whiskers! She is the blonde. No jokes, please.

gallery_14551_428_1105763568.jpg

What do you feed them? Have you tried flax seeds to make them lay omega 3 eggs?

Organic chicken feed and then lots of scraps. Countless tortillas, old salad, tomatoes in season. We have a prolific persimmon tree and I really hate them so the girls get the bulk of that fruit. Will look in to flax!

Has anyone tried the flan napolitano yet? Comon! I don't want to get fat all by myself!

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Flan Napolitano En Memoria de Francisca

One can condensed milk

One can evaporated milk

A little whole milk to thin the mix slightly (if necessary)

5 or 6 eggs

2 Tbsp vanilla

1/2 kilo cream cheese (about 1.1 lbs)

5 Tbsp white sugar

Caramelize the sugar and use it to coat the bottom of the flan pan.

Blend all remaining ingredients in a blender until very smooth. Pour into la flanera and place in a baño maría. Cook for approximately 1 hour, or until a silver knife inserted in the flan comes out clean.

Cool, invert on a serving plan, y listo.

I tried Esperanza's recipe over the weekend with great results. It will be a great addition to my recipe collection. In my opinion, it is something between flan and cheesecake, but I would not call it neither a flan or a cheesecake. I guess I need to call it "Flan Napolitano en Memoria de Francisca" :smile:

I love flan, all kinds... Denser with more egg yolks, lighter with whole eggs ("and all the bubbles") My mother has been cooking her flan lately in the pressure cooker. My family lives in Spain and they really use the pressure cooker for many dishes. I do not own one, so I stick to the usual oven with water bath when it comes to flanes.

Anyway, gracias por la receta Esperanza.

Alex

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Hello fellow egulleters, just so happened that I will be having a lot of eggyolks from making IMBC. What else could be better to make with yolks other than flan ( I know you guys got better ideas for the yolk...... :wink: )

An ideal Filipino style flan a.k.a. Leche Flan, is made entirely of eggyolks, about 8 to a dozen, milk, sugar and vanilla extract. A very simple recipe, but dont be fooled as the procedure can be rather tedious and complicated. I say that because if done the right way, or "grandma's way" so to speak, the texture should be very silky, dense, melt-in-your-mouth-like-butter, no bubbles, sweet enough but not too sweet and it will be able to hold itself up after unmolding it. Another distinct characteristic of this type of flan is the caramel that envelopes around it has a slight hint of citrus by adding freshly grated lime zest onto the molten sugar. I find the addition of lime zest refreshing as it pulls away the "eggy" flavor of the custard

The list of ingredients above is the basic recipe back in the olden days when they didn't measure stuff....well maybe they did, we just didnt know they did :unsure: haha but the ingredients listed above has gone through multiple permutations throughout the years, depending on the economy, which ingredients are more accessible etc., etc., anyways the recipe that I use is from my mom. she's been using this recipe ever since I can remember my first memories of this scrumptous dessert. she uses egg yolks only, evaporated milk, condensed milk and vanilla extract. We use metal oval moulds called LLANERAS, the size comparable to an adult's hand, and the sides about 1.5 to 2 inches high. I could only guess they are specifically made for "flan making"( haha sounded like an arts and craft project :raz: ) because to make the caramel, you put 2 tbs of granulated sugar in it, then melt it over the stove to a nice golden brown then it is swirled around to make an even coat on the bottom of the pan. but here's the recipe as follows

12 eggyolks (duck eggs yield a richer and a more golden custard)

2 can condensed milk (800grams)

1 can evaporated milk (400grams)

1 TBSP good vanilla extract

zest from one lime

sugar for the caramel

Combine all of the above ingredients except the lime zest, and stir gently with a spoon, take care not to agitate it too much as it will create bubbles within the custard. Add half of the lime zest in and the vanilla extract, stirring gently to disperse all that citrus flavor and set aside while you prepare the caramel.

If you have llaneras, place 1-2 tablespoons of sugar in it and melt sugar over direct heat swirling around as it melts and coat all of the bottom part, once the sugar has turned into a nice amber color, not dark brown turn the heat off. Quickly even out the molten sugar at the bottom by tilting it from side to side while its still hot and in liquid state, sprinkle a pinch of the lime zest, let cool and harden. If you dont have a llanera you can use any oven proof dish, just melt the sugar in a separate pot and pour to cover the bottom of your "mould", same concept just more pots to wash.

Gently stir the custard mixture once again to ensure a well homogenized mixture. get a very fine sieve, a fine chinois serves its rightful purpose on this one, and gently pour the mixture out in a steady stream ( keep in mind NO BUBBLES ) into a container with a spout. the purpose for straining it is to catch that white area in the egg thats usually attached to the yolk, it turns hard when cooked, thus giving the flan an inconsistent texture. Line up the pans and pour to about 3/4 full or depends on how thick you want the flans to be, so it all depends on the person coz its not gonna rise like a cake. to reduce the bubbles while pouring I take a chopstick or a bbq skewer and use it to "guide" the liquid to the side of the mould creating less bubbles. For any bubbles on top...I pop it with a toothpick (unused of course :laugh: I hope :unsure: ). Cover the top of the mould with plastic wrap and snugly secure with a rubber band or twine. if doing Baine marie method, use foil then secure with twine.

You can cook it two ways, steaming or bain marie, I personally prefer steaming because you can control the temp easier. Bain marie tends to produce a lot of bubbles in the custard while it cooks. Steam for 1 hour over a medium low simmer, if unsure about its doneness just extend the cooking time about 20 min. If using the steaming method the cooking time can be extended and the flan wouldnt change composition VS Bain marie where you're cooking with dry heat, it tends to dry your flan even if you have the water pan in the oven. Bain marie = set the oven at 300 degrees and bake for an hour as well. after cooking let cool and chill in the fridge. run a knife along the sides of the mould and unmold onto a plate.

I'd love to hear everyone's variation of their flan.

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Sounds great! I recently had a Mamey Flan at Versailles in Miami.. That was a thing of beauty.. I guess if no Mamey is around a Papaya Flan might be good to try..


Edited by Daniel (log)

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I often do a Cheese Flan, whose recipe I got from a Cuban former neighbor. It contains cream cheese as well as the eggs. I also make Pumpkin Flan, which is a popular dessert in Japan, of all places.

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I learned how to make quindims in Brazil. Actually closer to Tocino del Cielo more than to Leche Flan, also baked in a bain-marie but mixed with finely grated coconut which floats to the top and gets caramelized by the heat. Also served upside down, the crust becoming a chewy base like bucayô.

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I'm quite interested in this thread as, til now, I've only made custards with fresh milk and even mostly whole eggs. My flan experience? gustatory only.

So some questions:

aznsailorboi --What's IMBC? :unsure: I'll need to do something with all the whites (besides Angelfood Cake).

SuzySushi -- I assume that the cheese flan is sweet and includes the caramelized sugar sauce? Have you ever tried a savory version with something that has a more cheesy taste than cream cheese? Is the cheese in addition to the milks or in place of some of it?

Apico -- you piqued my curiosity and I googled both quindims and Tocino del Cielo for recipes and came upon an interesting blog (http://scentofgreenbananas.blogspot.com/).

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I'm quite interested in this thread as, til now, I've only made custards with fresh milk and even mostly whole eggs. My flan experience? gustatory only.

So some questions:

aznsailorboi --What's IMBC?

IMBC = Italian Meringue Buttercream

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aznsailorboi --What's IMBC?  :unsure:  I'll need to do something with all the whites (besides Angelfood Cake).

I addition to the IMBC (Italian Meringue Buttercream as answered by sanrensho) and Swiss Meringue Buttercream, there is also:

Nut Dacquoise for a cake layer

Meringues (into which falls pavlova, vacherin, and just cookies, perhaps filled with that IMBC...)

Marshmallows (some formulas use egg whites, some not)

and your aforementioned Angel Food cakes

And, the whites always freeze well for future use.


Edited by SweetSide (log)

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I found a Mexican flan recipe years ago, and I’ve stuck with it. Mix four whole eggs, a can of sweetened condensed milk, and an equal amount of fresh milk. Substituting cream or half-and-half for the milk makes it decadently rich. Vanilla extract, almond extract, Amaretto, and a little salt provide flavor.

I make the caramel nice and dark, and bake the flan in a water bath.

aznsailorboi: lime zest and extra egg yolks sound really good.

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SuzySushi -- I assume that the cheese flan is sweet and includes the caramelized sugar sauce? Have you ever tried a savory version with something that has a more cheesy taste than cream cheese? Is the cheese in addition to the milks or in place of some of it?

The cheese flan is sweet and includes usual flan ingredients (eggs, sweetened condensed milk, regular milk, vanilla, and of course a caramelized sugar sauce) as well as the cheese. I've never tried making a savory version.

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I'm a big fan of Orange Zest added into the custard.

I wonder if you could scent the sugar with it too before caramelizing?

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Thanks for sharing your time tested recipe with all the details, aznsailorboi! I think I will try your recipe the next time I make a flan.

I haven't made one in awhile. An interesting version I did try used pomegranate juice and recipe promised a beautiful mauve color. The flavor was very good but the color really ended up as a rather unattractive brown color... Not sure if there would be any way to correct his.

The recipe is from a small cookbook called "Classic Southwestern Cooking" by Dille and Belsinger. The ingredients for the custard part of the flan are:

3 extra large eggs, 3 extra large yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups half and half, 1 1/4 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice and some pomegranate seeds for garnish. The juice is added in at the end of the custard making, before sieving.

Another varient given is to sub pineapple juice and to cut back the sugar by 2-3 Tbs.

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Thanks for reminding me about this great thread on flan.

The May issue of Bon Appetit has a recipe that looks as intriguing as any I've ever seen:

Tangerine-Honey Flan with Grapefruit Segments.

It is a basic recipe, but adds honey, tangerine zest (which you strain before baking), and 1 cup fresh tangerine juice.

And then you garnish with pink grapefruit segments. It sounds positively sublime to me, and the photos of it are gorgeous. I'd think the piquant grapefruit would marry perfectly with the sweet richness of the flan.

If anyone would like more info, pm me.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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Thanks aznsailorboy!

I'm planning to make IMBC soon, and I can always use more egg yolk recipes, given that I've a taste for macarons and all sorts of nut meringues.

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