BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

May 3 2011

Cinnamon-Orange Flan

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For the Caramel
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Lightly butter six 4 ounce ramekins or custard cups.

Mix the water and sugar in a heavy pot over medium-high heat.
Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush the sides of the pot just above the sugar about every 30 seconds to prevent crystals from forming.
Cook the sugar until it is a rich dark color.

As soon as this color is achieved, set the pot into a bowl of ice. Spoon the cooled caramel into the ramekins or custard cups. If the caramel becomes too thick or sets up completely, warm it over very low heat until it is pliable again.

Pour about 2 teaspoons caramel into each cup and tilt them from side to side to coat the bottom.
Reserve remaining caramel for garnish.

2 cups milk
Small pinch of salt
3 (2-inch) Cinnamon Sticks
1 orange
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
6 tablespoons granulated sugar

Peel the orange, leaving the peel as whole as possible, then remove the white pith. Combine milk, salt and cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring milk to a strong simmer over medium-high heat, stir in the orange peel, and remove from the heat. Let the milk cool for 30 minutes.

Combine eggs and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk in the sugar until the mixture is blended but not foamy. Strain milk into the eggs and sugar and whisk until blended. Pour the custard into the prepared cups.
Place the cups in a baking pan and place in the oven. Add water to 1/3 to 1/2 of the way up the sides of the molds. Bake flans for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until set.

Remove flans carefully from the water bath and allow them to cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerate them at least 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, loosen flans from the edges of the mold with a sharp knife pressed firmly against the edges of the cups. Unmold directly onto serving plates.