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Food Bytes PG Cookbook The Food Chain
Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining

Flan is Mexico's national obsession. It's so delicious, it inspires "flanaticism. "(Don't skimp on the vanilla; this is such a simple recipe, every flavor really counts.)

3 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons water
6 cups whole milk
6 eggs
12 egg yolks
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. In a large frying pan, heat 2 cups of the sugar and the cinnamon and caramelize over low heat (to prevent burning), stirring continuously until amber-colored. Remove from the heat and slowly add the water while stirring. Immediately pour the caramelized sugar into eight 8-ounce ramekins, swirling the cups to evenly coat the bottom. (We used custard cups and the doubled recipe made 14 with custard mix left over.)

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat until almost simmering, then remove from the heat and set aside. Combine the eggs, egg yolks, remaining sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat with a whisk until pale yellow in color. Gradually add the hot milk while stirring continuously. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer.

Pour the custard batter into the ramekins, dividing equally. Skim any foam or bubbles off the surface of the custard. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan and fill the pan with 2 inches of warm water, so that the water comes about halfway up the outsides of the ramekins. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Place the pan of custards in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (ours took much longer than this), or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Cool to room temperature on a cooling rack, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, run a knife around the inside edge of the ramekins to loosen the flans. Gently invert and turn out onto serving plates.

"Chevys & Rio Bravo Fresh Mex Cookbook"

Sunday, July 16, 2000

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