Some of my favorite words are expressed in the title of my blog peace, love flan. Why? You ask. Who could ask for anything more? I say. Peace allows love to flourish, love expresses compassion, compassion embraces, embracing…well, perfect time for a kiss. And what could be sweeter than a kiss? Flan!
So by now you have surmised that I must be latina. I thank the gods for smiling on me. I remember well the very first time I experienced the deliriously joyful, decadent taste of flan.
I was just a little girl who somehow often managed to get into some form of mischief. Believe me when I say I was a handful. And being of that nature, was quite the challenge for my family. But, I had this great grandmother, Mama, who pretty much knew just about everything that lurked inside of my being. Her way of dealing was to shrug her shoulders, say, “Que nena!” and proceed into the kitchen where she would work her magic that would dazzle and amaze me. It was on one of those occasions that she made the virgin flan.
The thing is there was a catch before she would let me taste it. I had to follow her instructions to the letter of the law for the consuming of this delicacy or never be shown the wizardry involved in creating this mystical experience. I kid you not, she had a way with building intrigue. And by the time it was almost time to retrieve the flan from it’s alchemical fire I was fully convinced and ready to jump through hoops for a taste.
We are all often confronted with notions, right or wrong, that lead us to standing our ground come heck or high water. And what is the usual result? We are swept away, drenced, chilled to the bone and wondering why? For some reason someone got it into their head to teach us to stand up for what we believe in. Now that’s not all bad. It only becomes an issue when what we believe in gets in the way of what another believes. And my friends, that is what we do most of the time. So it begs to question why beleive in anything?
Well, my Mama would have said, and often did, ” What matters most is how we share what we have, not what we beleive.” In her case is was an ability to turn the process of turning a desert, flan, into a mindful experience that would eventually lead, in strange and unusual ways to my understanding what she best had to share was her compassion for my nature.
Now that to me is the greatest love that anyone can share with another. When these thoughts came to me I was filled with a very deep sense of peace. My heart was overflowing with love and compassion. No longer able to hug her, she passed some time ago, I bowed to the trees and hugged and kissed my cats in gratitude for the likes of my Mama.
As for the flan, mine is good as I’ve been told and I do enjoy it. But I never could quite make it as good as she did. Of course I don’t have a great, granddaughter to tempt. No matter, that first taste is with me always. Each moment is the first taste of that virgin flan.
Flan – Blend all ingredients until completely mixed. Pour the flan mixture thru a metal strainer right into the caramelized pan.
Set the mold in a broiling pan (baño de María). Cook in a 350º oven for one hour. At 30 minutes check to see if it’s getting too brown on top – if so cover loosely with foil.
Test the flan to see if it’s done by inserting a knife in the center. If the flan is still soft, let it cook longer until a knife inserted again comes out clean. Remove from the oven carefully and let it sit on the counter until it cools. Then cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
To serve lay a plate on top of the mold then carefully flip it over and slide the mold off.
Stove Top Caramel – Melt 1cup sugar in a non-stick pan, over low heat. Keep your eye on it. If it burns you will have to start over. It just needs to melt that’s all. Using a non stick pan will cause the caramel to just slip off the pan when pouring – easy to clean later.
Immediately pour the caramel into a metal pan ( I use small single serve glass bowls instead. Be sure they can take the heat. The metal pan or larger container works well also ) and swirl it around to cover the bottom and sides. You have to be quick because once it starts to cool down it hardens and you don’t stand a chance. The caramel should have cooled down before you pour the egg mixture in it.
Cover with clear wrap, refridgerate for a few to cool down. When ready to serve place the serving plate or platter on top of the flan and quickly invert. Remove pan or bowl and smile. You now have a delectable desert to savor.
More flan receipes available at: