I’m not a sweets person.
Given the choice I would only have savoury foods at the dinner table and would repeat a starter instead of having dessert.
I do, however, have the odd bout of craving for sticky cakes and cookies and yesterday was one of such occasions; I went from wanting a cookie, to wanting apple crumble to wanting a chocolate fondant; and when I got to the supermarket and stood in front of the desserts aisle I ended up buying crème caramel.
On the ride home I kept questioning my choice since we all know that pre-prepared crème caramel doesn’t taste anything like the actual stuff, but I must admit this particular one (Bonne Maman in case you were wondering) wasn’t bad at all – The custard was eggy enough and the caramel at the bottom had the perfect balance between sweetness and the bitterness of burnt.
And so whilst sitting on my couch ploughing my way through the ramekin I started thinking I should make crème caramel more often, because I do really quite like it.
It reminds me of the 80s, but I’m pretty sure that’s mostly because crème caramel was the dessert of choice at my grandma’s and aunt’s houses when I was a kid.
All special occasions would be marked with flan as we call it in Latin America – Clearly nothing to do with the European “flan”.
I don’t remember mother making it and I have a feeling she’s not its biggest fan, but I might be mistaken so don’t quote me on that.
Anyway, I remember attending family birthdays and sneaking into the set dining room just to make sure there would be flan.
The heavy wooden dining table would have been pushed to one side, covered in one of grandma’s finest tablecloths, decorated with candles and flowers, the good china and the silverware on display… But I ignored that, my sights would be set on the side table where surely enough there would be a flan in all its glory.Flans came covered in one of two as well – Coconut or Tinned peaches.
I always preferred the latter.
After all that you’d think I make flan every time I have people over.Why?
Because it frankly is a pain the backside to make.
I’ve made it once in the past 2 years.
With peaches on top.
And some coconut too for good measure.
I used my Aunt Lesly's recipe which I quote word by word below
Flan de Tia Lesy
You make some caramel in a pan that you will put in a bain marie.
Whisk 4 eggs with a tin of evaporated milk and a tin of condensed milk. You can add a little liquor - I like to use rum and also add grated coconut to the caramel base.
Once the egg and milk mix is ready you add it to the pan with the caramel and put in the oven in a pyrex with hot water for more or less an hour.
You have to stick in a toothpick and see if it comes out clean.
You wait about an hour (to let it cool) and you turn it.
And that's it.