Spanish Flan

Recipes by Nancy Johnson | Wine Commentary by Gary Twining

This classic dessert is super-flantastic, a rich and creamy egg custard drenched with a thin caramel syrup. You will need six 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups and a 13×9 baking pan for the bain-marie (water bath). Make the flans the night before serving.

1-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup whole milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

3 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

7 TBS sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together cream, milk, vanilla and salt. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a separate medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, until syrup turns deep amber, about 7 minutes. Coat six ramekins or custard cups with butter-flavored cooking spray and place in a 13×9-inch pan. Pour syrup into ramekins.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolks and 7 TBS sugar until blended. Gently whisk in cream mixture. Pour mixture into ramekins. Place pan in oven. Carefully pour enough hot water into 13×9 pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake until centers of flans are set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Cover each ramekin and refrigerate overnight. To serve, run small knife around flans to loosen. Turn each onto dessert plates or shallow bowls. Gently shake to loosen, allowing syrup to run over flan. Serves 6.

Gary: With the caramelized, toffee character of the Flan, look for oxidized, caramelized wines to echo similar flavors. Rutherglen “Stickies” from Muscat and Muscadelle, Cream Sherry and Montilla, Tawny Porto, Bual or Malmsey Madeira will pair quite well. You could try a lighter wine for a contrast, such as Ice wine or late-harvest Riesling, as long as it has an adequate level of residual sugar.

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