Vanilla Bean Flan
Recipe from The Food Channel

This classic vanilla bean flan has a rich, satiny texture and when inverted is dripping with deep amber colored caramel syrup.



by 6  people


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Servings: 6
Prep Time: 35 mins
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Ingredients
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    1 1/3  cups 
    half and half
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    1 1/3  cups 
    milk
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    3/4  cup 
    sugar
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    1/2  
    vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
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    Pinch of salt
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    1   cup 
    sugar
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    1/4  cup 
    water
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    3   
    large eggs
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    4   
    large egg yolks

Directions
1.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.
Set 6 (6 to 8 oz.) baking molds or larger baking dish in 13x9x2 baking pan.
3.
Combine half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and salt in heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and allow to steep 20 minutes.
4.
Place 1 cup sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan; evenly moisten with 1/4 cup water and set over medium-high heat. When mixture comes to a full boil, dip clean pastry brush into water and wash down the sides of the pan periodically to dissolve sugar crystals. Reduce heat to medium, simmer for 4 to 6 minutes while gently swirling pan to avoid stirring mixture until it reaches a deep amber color. Immediately remove from heat and quickly divide mixture among molds and with an oven mitt. Tilt molds to coat sides with caramel before mixture cools.
5.
Whisk eggs and yolks in medium bowl.
6.
Gradually whisk cream mixture into egg mixture without creating a lot of foam. Pour custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a pourable pitcher or bowl. Divide the custard mixture evenly among caramel coated baking molds.
7.
Place baking pan with filled molds on center oven rack. Pour simmering water into baking pan until it reaches the halfway point on the baking molds.
8.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until centers of flans are gently set. Remove from oven and transfer baking molds to cooling rack. Chill about 2 hours before serving.
9.
Run knife around edges of custard and quickly invert onto dessert plates.
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