Almond Flan

My favorite dessert. 
{This was my first time making Flan.}

You will need:
One 9-in round baking dish
Aluminum Foil
1 cup of white sugar
4 eggs
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14oz)
1 can of exaporated milk (12oz)
1 tsp Almond extract 
(Vanilla or Orange would be good too)

Note: I am pretty sure it's illegal to use low-fat dairy products in the South, so I was forced to use the full-fat versions of condensed and evaporated milk. If you opt for the low-fat kind, I can't make you any promises.

 First things first, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Beat your eggs in a large mixing bowl, add in condensed milk, then evaporated milk, then the almond.
Almond has a really strong flavor, so take it easy on the extract, kids.
Stir in each item until the mixture is smooth. 

Set aside. 
digital photography by RAS - All rights reserved.

Now its time to make your caramel. 
Pour 1 cup of sugar into a medium sauce pan.
On medium-low heat  melt the sugar down.
(for me the sweet spot was between 4-5 on the knob)

I recommend paying close attention to this process.
You don't want to burn the sugar because that tastes bad, and you need to stir it pretty regularly- so stand by.
The sugar will start to clump, then get gooey, then you have syrup!

digital photography by RAS - All rights reserved.
 It takes about 30 minutes or so; so have patience my friends.
(It took me a little longer because I had the heat too low at first.)

Once you have a syrup, put it in your 9-inch round pan immediately, the syrup gets hard fast.
(Don't worry about your pan, or spatula- the sugar is water soluble, so the hardened sugar will easily come off with a little dip in hot water. )

digital photography by RAS - All rights reserved.

Then put your egg-condensed-evaporated milk mixture on top. 
(This is where I realized my dish was borderline too shallow, 
so keep depth in mind if you are purchasing a round dish for your Flan.)

digital photography by RAS - All rights reserved.
It should look something like this, your caramel is underneath!

Cover it up with aluminum foil, and place the dish on a flat cookie sheet to prevent spillage. Contents spilled will burn on the floor of your oven, and no one likes a Flan that has been baked in burnt air.

Now you are ready to pop that sucker in your heated oven.
The flan will bake for 1 hour. 

Once your Flan is out of the oven, it will look something like this:
digital photography by RAS - All rights reserved.
Allow it to cool completely, once its okay to touch, I recommend putting it in the fridge.

Now your Flan is chilled, but before you enjoy it, you'll need to do one more thing! 

Put a plate over the baking dish and flip the Flan over onto the plate, so it looks like this:
(Use a knife around the edges so it doesn't tear)

digital photography by RAS - All rights reserved.
It came out

The original recipe called for 3 eggs, but I knew adding one more egg would give me the texture I desire in a Flan; Rich, dense-but not too dense, and creamy. I also used Almond extract instead of Vanilla.

I don't know why I put off making Flan for so long, it was so easy, and the end product came out great. 



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