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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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December 01, 2001

Caramel Flan

And now I'm going to divulge one of my "do I really want to share this?" recipes.  Years ago, we were neighbors with a family from Puerto Rico who were truly delightful people and she was a very good cook.  At one of her dinners, she served this and I told her that ever since I had eaten caramel flan at a Spanish restaurant in Florida one time I had searched for a good recipe for making it but that they all had that business of adding the eggs very carefully and very slowly in to the very hot milk which I have never mastered (at least back then).  She said "oh no, this is easy!" and gave me the recipe.  And so with a very big thank you to Mitzi here it is.

4 c. whole milk
1 c. sugar
dash salt
7 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring the first 3 ingredients to a boil in a fairly heavy pan and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Refrigerate until the pan is just slightly warm to the touch.

In a bowl big enough to hold the milk mixture and the eggs, beat the 7 eggs with a fork.  Add the vanilla and stir in.  Now stir all that into the milk mixture in the pan and then using one of those hand-held strainers, pour it back and forth 2 or 3 times (each time through the strainer) between the pan and the bowl.

In another heavy saucepan (or rinse that one out and use it), caramelize 1 c. sugar, melting it slowly until it is completely liquid and a light caramel color (don't let it burn).  Then pour it into a pan (I describe the one I use below), swirl it around so it thoroughly coats the sides of the pan, and then place it in a shallow pan of water in a 350 oven for 1 hour.  Refrigerate when cooked and unmold onto a plate large enough to handle all the now liquid caramel sauce.


Mitzi showed me the pan she used and I found one just like it.  It reminds me of the great big pans that people sometimes use to feed their great big dogs.  Here are its approximate measurements.  Top rim to rim=8-3/4"; bottom equals about 6-3/4" and it's about 2-3/4" high.  The flan when it comes out of the pan is probably about an inch or so high.  The pan is just thin aluminum.  I unmold mine onto a round platter that measures 12" in diameter.

And in my humble opinion, this flan is leaps and bounds beyond caramel flan.  The texture is absolutely silken and the flavor is absolutely scrumptious.  And when your guests are swooning at your table, please tell them that the recipe comes from Mitzi in Puerto Rico via this kind of crazy lady's blog. :)

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