Tuesdays with Dorie….

I am a bad Mexican food eater. It’s not solely my fault, as I am allergic to raw tomatoes, raw onion and all chili peppers. And since most Mexican food is made with those three ingredients my choices are more than limited. So growing up(and even really as an adult) if I got stuck going to Mexican food I ate a cheese crisp and either fried ice cream or flan. My gringo-ness stuck out even more as when they would bring chips to the table, I would ask for ketchup. Yep, you read that right….ketchup. Since I can not have salsa(a combo of all that I am allergic to) I eat my tortilla chips with ketchup. Now before you throw up just a little in your mouth, think about this: salsa…a tomato based condiment. Ketchup…a tomato based condiment. Same difference…give or take. :) And yes, I eat potato chips with ketchup also…I mean fried potatoes are fried potatoes…whether it be chips or fries.
I digress.
Back to the other things I will eat. Flan. Over the years I have eaten many a flan. Kissing cousin to the crème caramel, flan is an eggy custard that is bake with caramel sauce in the ramekin. Flip it over and you have a beautiful dessert.
I have had some bad flan in my life. I have had the kind that has far too many eggs and it tastes like you are eating a sweetened omelet. Or worse is the no-bake kind. Oh don’t get my started on that. So I am always nervous when trying out a new flan recipe. You just never know if it is going to be too eggy. But when Steph of Whisk and a Spoon chose Caramel Topped Flan, I knew Dorie would not let me down and she did not. Nice and creamy with only a hint of the egg coming through. I did make mine with a splash of orange instead of lemon and I added orange zest to my caramel. I just think the citrus adds something to the flan.
To see what other people did with the flan head on over to the Tuesdays with Dorie website.

Caramel Topped Flan

For the Caramel
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
squirt of fresh orange juice

For the Flan
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1-1/4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a roasting pan or a 9-x-13-inch baking pan with a double thickness of paper towels.  Fill a teakettle with water and put it on to boil; when the water boils, turn off the heat.

Put a metal 8-x-2-inch round cake pan-not a nonstick one-in the oven to heat while you prepare the caramel.

To Make the Caramel: Stir the sugar, water and lemon juice together in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Put the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar becomes an amber-colored caramel, about 5 minutes-remove the pan from the heat at the first whiff of smoke.

Remove the cake pan from the oven and, working with oven mitts, pour the caramel into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the caramel evenly over the bottom; set the pan aside. Sprinkle with orange zest if desired.

To Make the Flan: Bring the cream and milk just to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a 2-quart glass measuring cup or in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar.  Whisk vigorously for a minute or two, and then stir in the vanilla.  Still whisking, drizzle in about one quarter of the hot liquid-this will temper, or warm, the eggs so they won’t curdle.  Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the hot cream and milk.  Using a large spoon, skim off the bubbles and foam that you worked up.

Put the caramel-lined cake pan in the roasting pan.  Pour the custard into the cake pan and slide the setup into the oven.  Very carefully pour enough hot water from the kettle into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan.  (Don’t worry if this sets the cake pan afloat.)  Bake the flan for about 35 minutes, or until the top puffs a bit and is golden here and there.  A knife inserted into the center of the flan should come out clean.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the cake pan to a cooking rack and run a knife between the flan and the sides of the pan to loosen it.  Let the flan cool to room temperature on the rack, then loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

When ready to serve, once more, run a knife between the flan and the pan.  Choose a rimmed serving platter, place the platter over the cake pan, quickly flip the platter and pan over and remove the cake pan-the flan will shimmy out and the caramel sauce will coat the custard.

Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

Source: Adapted from(where else) Baking: Form My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan, Houghton Mifflin 2006


  1. YUM! I have a friend that would just die for this!
    Beautiful pics!

  2. Nice twist with the orange- Might as well make the most of the dwindling winter citrus, right?

  3. I’ve actually never had flan before to be honest. But taking a look at these pictures; Makes me want to try it right now! :]

  4. Yikes, you’re allergic to many of my favorite ingredients!! I eat raw tomatoes daily!! Despite the fact that you can’t eat a lot of ingredients found in Mexican cuisine, I’d say that you mastered the flan – it screams perfection and lusciousness, to me!! :0)

  5. I’m not a huge flan fan, but, man! That flan looks good!!!!
    I love your writing. I don’t know of anyone else who can successfully seque from ketchup to flan in one paragraph, lol!

  6. Lovely, as always! Orange zest, hmmm?

  7. You have done so well with the presentation here, beautiful!

  8. I would be the opposite of you eating all things tomato and chili. But no flan. I must have had a bad flan experience when I was growing up. Sticky, gooey, thick, eggy. But your light as clouds flan is looking gorgeous, peabody. Have you ever thought of tomatillo sauce? No tomatoes. No chili. Yummy. In fact I just happen to have a dessert that goes with it…Please tell me you don’t put ketchup on your scrambled eggs.

  9. How sad that you don’t get to experience all the Mexican food. Have you ever tried any roasted salsas? I know Rick Bayless has some recipes for them in his books and also sells some. Perhaps you could try those!

  10. Flan is probably one of my favorite desserts!! I like making a lemony cardamom version, which gives the flan a fragrant undertone. I will have to try using orange zest next time – it looks exquisite!

  11. i totally know what you mean about bad flan! ick! looks like yours turned out great. the orange zest is a nice addition.

    funny about the ketchup – i knew a guy in college who would eat EVERYTHING with ketchup – even rice!

  12. I’ve never had flan before, but it looks interesting. And don’t worry about the ketchup thing, I eat it with everything. I eat it with chips, fris, baked potatoes, burgers, hotdogs, rice, seafood…anything! Ketchup just makes things better :)

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