Beatrice Ojakangas

Recipes from the Scandinavian Chef

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Location: Duluth, Minnesota, United States


Peruvian Flan

Woman Today – Feb/March, 2007

Peruvian Flan
On a recent cruise, we took a land tour into the countryside of Peru, through Lima. Sightseeing was mainly through the vantage of a bus window. We did, however, have lunch at a plantation.
What surprised me the most about Peru was its modern-day sophistication combined with a sense of ancient history. The Inca ruins reminds one of the ancient Roman Empire, but that’s where the similarity ends.
Culinarily speaking, maize (corn), potatoes and aji (peppers) date back to the Incas and pre-Incas. The cuisine was later influenced by the arrival of the Spanish and other ethnic groups, although Spanish is the predominant language.
The potatoes were amazing! Deep yellow, white, and even purple potatoes grow well here. At a plantation luncheon, we were served a terrine/salad made with layers of different colored mashed potatoes, chilled, sliced, and served with a dressing – definitely an avant-guard concoction.
As in all of South America, flan is the ubiquitous dessert - not the flan we know that’s a pastry with a filling, but the Spanish type that is a custard coated with caramel. I’ve had flan baked in individual pans, and flans that look like a wedge of custard pie topped with caramel. In this Peruvian variation, the flan is baked in a ring mold, and I like this the best of all because it is so easy to make and serve. I like to fill the center of the ring with fresh berries. Think of this as a springtime dessert when the new, sweet strawberries arrive.
I often get questions about the difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand milk), is a mixture of whole milk and 40% sugar, heated until 60% of the water is evaporated. This makes the milk sticky, thick and sweet. Evaporated milk is concentrated milk, sold in cans and comes either whole or nonfat. If a recipe calls for condensed milk, it almost certainly refers to sweetened condensed milk.
This is a great recipe for a lot of people. If you’d like to make a smaller flan, you can cut the recipe in half and cook the flan in a 5 or 6-cup ring mold. Baking time will be slightly less.

Peruvian Flan
Serves 18 to 20
1 cup sugar
10 large eggs
2 cans (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 (12 ounce) cans evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 dash cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 11-cup metal ring mold with nonstick spray.
2. Put sugar into a heavy skillet and stir over medium heat until sugar is melted and caramelizes. Pour the caramelized sugar into the tube pan and turn pan from side to side until the bottom and part of the sides are coated with the sugar. Set aside and allow to harden, (Set in a pan of ice water, if necessary).
3. In a large bowl, stir together the beaten eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla and cinnamon until well blended.
4. Pour egg mixture into the caramel-coated mold. Place into a larger pan with 2 inches of hot water. Bake for 1 hour or until custard is set.
5. Let cool, then invert onto a serving platter or plate.
6. Decorate with fresh berries or edible flowers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many people does it serve?

3:31 PM  

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