Vanilla Bean Flan
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup half & half
- 1 each vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 3 each eggs, medium
- 3 each medium egg yolks
- 5 tablespoons organic cane sugar(for egg/milk mixture)
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar(for caramel sauce)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Preheat convention (not convection) oven to 325F.
- Lightly spray six 1/2 cup ramekins with PAM or other non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine the heavy cream, half & half, milk, the split and scraped vanilla bean pod and its scrapings into a medium sized heavy bottomed sauce pan; gradually bring to a simmer over medium heat, then remove from the stove top.
- In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, yolks and five tablespoons of organic cane sugar and beat with a wire whisk until the mixture becomes frothy. Add one cup of the simmered milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Gradually add the remaining milk mixture into the egg mixture and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a clean dry container. Set aside.
- To make caramel sauce: In a medium heavy bottomed sauce pot, combine the water, freshly squeezed lemon juice and the remaining half cup of organic cane sugar. (Be careful not to get the mixture on the sides of the pan as it will burn.) Cook undisturbed over medium heat until it becomes amber in color (like a penny) about 3 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat and spoon one tablespoon of the caramel into the bottom of each greased ramekin.
- Place the ramekins into a deep baking dish. Ladle the egg/milk mixture over the caramel in each ramekin, dividing evenly. Create a steam bath by carefully pouring hot water into the baking pan until the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Make sure not to get any water in the ramekins.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the flans are set, but still slightly loose in the center.
- Carefully remove from the oven, remove the foil, and let the flans rest in the hot water for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the flans from the baking dish and allow them to cool slightly on the countertop before moving them to the refrigerator.
- To serve: with your fingertips gently press around the outside of the flan to release it from the ramekin. Invert each flan onto a small plate and remove the ramekin. If desired, top with fresh berries and whipped cream.
Nutrition facts: Serves 6 - 5.2 ounce servings. 298 calories/ 17g. fat/30 g. carbs/6 g protein.