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. Your flan looks lovely Peabody! I love the idea of the hint of orange! I had never had flan before but have now fallen in love with it. It’s so light you feel like you are being good when you are eating it!

  2. oh you poor thing allergic to tomatoes! this flan looks to die for. i love the hint of orange. it looks so delicate but bursting with flava, YUM!!

  3. Beautiful presentation! I might try orange in it next time, maybe a little dash of cointreau…

  4. its amazing how regular you are with TWD. i love ur pics too, and the way you write :)

  5. Oh, yummmy! That flan sure looks very tempting and beautiful!



  6. I suppose being allergic to raw tomatoes and onions and chili peppers is better than being allergic to say, chocolate. Dear me! How do those poor souls get by in times of stress and between meals? Ha, just joking you.
    The flan looks very seductive.

  7. Your flan looks *perfect* :-) My pet hate (apart from the no-bake kind — don’t get *me* started either!) is flans that have been cooked at too high a temperature and have bubbles in them. I like to put orange in the caramel too, it gives it a lovely extra tang.

    PSc when you said you were a bad Mexican food eater, I thought you meant you liked bad Mexican food ;-)

  8. oh flan… so many childhood memories… looks fabulous!

  9. Flan, that looks good.

  10. I know it’s a simple dessert but yours always look like so much more. You’ve always done the little extra that sets them apart. I swoon!
    I left a comment yesterday on maybe Lynn’s post how scary it is to find how alike we think sometimes. On ketchup there will be no meeting of the minds for us. I can cook/flavor some with it but don’t be putting it on any potato of mine.

  11. Lovely flan! The orange sounds wonderful and I love your decorations, as always.

  12. My husband is a huge fan of flan, and a huge fan of Dorie — I wonder why he hasn’t yet put the two together?! I will definitely show him this post.

  13. I love flan. We have one that we call leche flan in the Philippines and I think it’s made with mostly egg yolks. Yes, I hate eggy flans too. This looks delicious and gorgeous!

  14. I simply love the light color of your flan. Looks simply awesome Pea! Even when in Dubai I have to make it a point to visit you here on Tuesdays! LOL!

  15. I suppose the only upside of your allergies is that you’ve become a flan connoisseur. Who am I kidding? There’s no upside here, I’m not a glass full kind of gal, allergies suck. But that flan does look awesome!

  16. Wow – I think I’d hate to not be able to have raw tomatoes! I grew up eating them straight off the vine in my backyard. I’m glad you got to make and eat the flan though, and I like the idea of subbing in orange, it sounds quite tasty.

  17. It looks wonderful!
    Potato chips (plain) or Fritos with ketchup is pretty darn good. :)

  18. I totally agree – the no bake kind is awful. I also think that the ones made with condensed milk (!) are dreadful and give an odd texture. Your flan looks lovely!

  19. It looks fabulous! I’ve never actually had flan (I sat this week out), but the idea really intrigues me.

  20. What a lovely presentation, a great idea to add some orange flavour!

  21. Gorgeous! Your photos made me wish I still have some flan left. Mmm.

  22. I agree with you having a tomato/pepper allergy and going out for Mexican food is a total bummer. I used to crave salsa and then it turns out I was allergic to the tomatoes and peppers. There’s still cilantro though…yum…yum…yum.

    I’m not really a fan of the flan, mostly because of the flavor. However, a lovely squirt of orange juice has the potential to change my mind. I’ll need to give this a try.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  23. I love the orange flecks in your flan. Your photos are stunning!

  24. So, I have never liked flan, but you and Dorie could change my mind. I think maybe I just had some “bad flans” as you say. The orange sounds lovely.

    Holly @ Phemomenon

  25. Love the orange addition! Your flan looks delicious…I was wishing I had a little whipped cream to go along with mine…next time!

  26. very nice! I wish mine would have turned out as pretty as yours!

  27. I am so sad for your gringoness!

    I used to work at a Mexican restaurant, and on Sundays we had this champagne brunch that was buffet style. At the end of the brunch, all the servers would load up takeout boxes of whatever yummy desserts were left – chocolate covered strawberries, carrot cake, and little mini flans!

  28. Flan is a childhood favorite and one I love to play with as much as with creme brulees so I love your orange addition. That had to rock!

  29. Flan-tastic!! I adore a good flan (my parents have a house in Puerto Rico and it is THE DESSERT there!!) — this looks like a wonderful (as well as gorgeous) rendition of it!

  30. Just Beautiful!

  31. oooh its absolutely beautiful with the orange! =)

  32. Beautiful. Love the orange specks with the caramel. Is that whip cream on top? Yum!
    Clara @ I♥food4thought

  33. Good idea with the orange. I just love your pics.

  34. I’m so going to play with my flavorings next time around. I LOVE flan with the addition of orange in the caramel or the custard, YUM!

  35. Looks wonderful! I bet orange was a great addition!

  36. Your flan looks marvelous:) The orange addition sounds great! Beautiful!!

  37. Adding orange zest to the flan sounds fabulous. So sorry that you can’t have salsa. That makes me sad, so have an extra flan, please.

  38. I’m loving how creamy it looks.. and the caramel with the orange.. loving it!!

    The ketchup? Ahhh.. not so much. :P


  39. This looks really beautiful. I like the idea of the orange zest with caramel. Refreshing. =)

  40. I’ve had some awful flan too, so I tend to avoid it. But, I wouldn’t run away from your flan. it looks heavenly!

  41. Yum! I’m a huge flan fan! I totally know what you mean about the bad flan… that’s why I tend not to order it in restaurants.

  42. Hey! I like ketchup on my potato chips too! Nothing wrong with that! :-)

  43. Beautiful presentation! It looks delicious.

  44. Pea, flan is really similar to a very popular dessert we have here. It’s a baked custard made with sweetened condensed milk with caramel sauce as well. It’s delicious.

    Your idea of adding orange to the flan sounds and looks amazing. I can use that in the future!

  45. I didn’t know you were allergic to those three things. That is such a shame, I am completely addicted to Mexican food.

    Although I have never had a flan before, would love to try this one.

  46. no-bake flan sounds so gross. your flan, however, came out beautifully! citrus is a nice touch–i infused lime zest in mine.

  47. wow, yours looks so fancy!

  48. I love the way you decorated the flan! Very purdy!

  49. Gorgeous!! You won’t that flan at Panchos!

  50. If I bake them in individual ramekins, how long is the baking time?

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