Anyone still here? I have sort of an odd request. It involves flan. Could you make me some?
I’m not usually a big flan person – if I’m going the custard route, I usually choose something like crème brulée (crunchy crust!) or good, old-fashioned pudding (nostalgia!) – but never flan. …Flan. The name alone pretty much says it all. Flahhhn. Blahhh. Cold and jiggly. Sort of weird, if you want to know the truth.
Apparently, though, not all flan has to be so… bleh. My friend Nadine introduced me to Brazilian flan yesterday, and it was decidedly not bleh. It was creamy and caramely (not a real word, just go with it) and the perfect texture. None of this cold and jiggly nonsense.
I met Nadine at school. She’s Brazilian and hilarious and, for the past three months, we’ve been bonding over sweaty kitchens, funny french accents, and lemon tart. Nadine always looks at me and giggles whenever Chef D. says “remember,” because we decided that, with his thick Parisian accent, it sounds like he’s actually saying “Camembert.” Which is actually sort of fitting. “And, uh, Camembert to strain your cuh-stahrd for de leh-mon tart beh-fore you bake eet, so eet gets, uh, nice and smooz.” (Giggle.) Nadine taught me how to say “shut up” in Portugese. I introduced her to the Shake Shack burger. She taught me about Brazilian flan.
Louis, I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.
Nadine’s Creamy Brazilian Flan (Pudim de leite condensado)
I still don’t have a camera (damn you, greenmarket camera thief), so unfortunately we are still sans photos, but trust me when I say that this is one gorgeous flan. It looks good enough to… um… eat. Please do, and enjoy.
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small saucepan, melt the cup of sugar over low heat, stirring. Once the sugar has caramelized, becoming a nice, golden brown syrup, pour it immediately into a baking pan (a glass pie pan would work nicely), swirling so that the syrup coats all sides of the dish. Set aside to to cool.
In a food processor or electric mixer on high speed, blend the egg yolks until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the condensed milk, regular milk and egg whites, and continue blending until all ingredients are combined. Pour the egg mixture into the pan with the caramel and cover with aluminum foil.
Line a roasting pan with parchment paper. Place flan dish in the roasting pan (on top of the parchment), and place the roasting pan on oven rack. Fill the roasting pan with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the flan dish.
Bake the flan until a knife inserted 1-inch from the edge comes out clean, 40-50 minutes. The center of the flan will still be soft. Allow flan to cool before unmolding onto a plate. Cut into wedges, and refrigerate before serving.