Silky smooth, caramel drenched, and decadent: flan is it- the one I grew up with and celebrated with. It reminds me of home, Sunday lunch, and my grandmother. It ranks high, at the top of my list with the rest of my favorites.
Flan is sweet and delicate, the full-hearted hug you look forward to and crave. Decadent and delicious it is a reminder that tenderness is as needed as fire and flame. It is a reminder that time works magic, and patience is key to winning this game.
I remember watching my mother making flan. She would effortlessly whisk milk into eggs, place a pan full of jiggly liquids into a water bath, then watch it cook gently until just set. She had the flan-making secret power taught to all good Puerto Rican cooks. I remember it always being the most popular dish at the desert table, devoured in seconds, every single drop licked away.
I haven't had flan in years. I had to give it a whirl, reinvent it without the milk, while keeping its identity intact. I wanted bold flavors that would accentuate the caramel, not hide it. I had and orange in the fridge and settled on a burnt yellow palette as bright as solstice sunsets.
With coconut milk and eggs as a base, the custard is luscious and rich. Turmeric' floral undertones are amplified by the orange's acidity, a perfect accomplice to the rich, decadent caramel that coats every bite.
This flan is sweet, bright, and aromatic. Every bite addictive, simultaneously refreshing and comforting. A win, a hug, a reminder of home that is both old and new me.
Orange & Turmeric Flan
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
- 1 deep baking dish
- 3 ramekins
- 1 tea kettle, for boiling water
- 2 small pots
- 1 small bowl
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- juice and zest of one orange
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup coconut sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon water
- Heat 4-5 cups of water in a tea kettle (or small pot for that matter). Set aside until ready to use.
- Place the coconut milk in a small pot. Bring the coconut milk to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and add the orange juice and zest, turmeric powder, vanilla, salt, and ¼ cup of the coconut sugar.
- Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside and let cool for about 10 minutes.
- As the milk cools, make the caramel. Place ½ cup of the coconut sugar in the other pot with 1 tablespoon of water. Over low heat, melt the coconut sugar until it becomes a syrup. (This should happen quickly.) Stir often to prevent it from burning.
- Once the caramel is ready, evenly divide it into the three ramekins. Stir it around and onto the sides of the ramekin. Place the ramekins in the baking dish. Pour enough of the hot water into the baking dish to cover the ramekins halfway up.
- In a small bowl, whisk eggs evenly. Pour coconut mixture slowly into the eggs, whisking vigorously to prevent curdling.
- Evenly divide the custard into the three ramekins. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the custard is just set. It is ok if the center wiggles a bit.
- Remove the flans from the oven and let cool out of the water bath for 20 minutes, then transfer into the fridge for at least an hour, but ideally up to 3-4 hours before serving.
- When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of each flan to detach it from the ramekin. , Gently invert onto a plate. The caramel should run over the flan smoothly.
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves: 3, but can be easily doubles or tripled!