Vanilla Flan with Butterscotch Sauce

22 Feb

  • 3 cups  half-and-half
  • 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup  packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp.  salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup  granulated sugar
  • granulated sugar

1. In medium saucepan heat half-and-half and vanilla bean over medium heat until steaming (140 -145 degrees), about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat; cover.  Steep for 15 minutes.

2. Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In small bowl combine brown sugar and 1/4 tsp. of the salt, pinching and mashing to eliminate lumps. Spoon mixture into 9-inch deep–ish pie plate. Pack into firm, even layer.

3. Remove bean from half-and-half (let cool if hot to handle); cut bean lengthwise. With point of small knife, scrape seeds from bean and add to half-and-half. Briefly reheat mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, just to steaming.

4. In large bowl whisk eggs, granulated sugar, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt. Gradually whisk in warm half-and-half until well-combined.

5. Slowly pour egg mixture in pie plate over brown sugar. Some sugar may float up but will settle to bottom eventually.

6. Place pie plate in deep roasting pan. Place pan in oven. Pour boiling water in roasting pan to halfway up sides of pie plate. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

7. Carefully remove pie plate from roasting pan. Cool on wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. To serve, gently run a thin metal spatula or knife around edge of flan. Invert onto serving plate. Makes 8 servings.

Better Homes & Gardens, February 2010

This is one of the tastiest flans I have ever tried, but I am a total sucker for all things butterscotch.  I made this exactly as instructed, using the vanilla extract method since I didn’t have any vanilla beans on hand.  Delicious!

Unfortunately, I do not have any sort of serving platter so the flan was bent a little out of shape by my up-turned dinner plates but it made no difference.  Once the pieces were cut and moved to serving plates, they bounced back to the standard flan shape.  However, I should warn that the butterscotch sauce is very sticky and fluid.   So if you plan to flip the flan onto a plate or small platter, be sure to put something under it because it will ooze everywhere.

That said, this was the first flan I’ve ever made and I thought the process was relatively easy and the product was damn impressive.  Can’t wait to have some more tonight.

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