Creme caramel has always been my favorite dessert, and this is a lovely, simple version of it! My man said it was the best dessert that I make (and I make a lot!) and that he'd request it as the dessert to his last meal if he were on death-row, haha.
Tip 1: To prevent a hardened mass of sugar, add 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of light corn syrup (Alton Brown says so!).
Tip 2: Rather than stir, swirl the pan gently as the sugar turns amber. Resist the temptation to remove the pan too quickly because the only thing worse than burnt caramel is that sickly, not-quite-there caramel that is the hallmark of the chicken in the kitchen! I mean, come on, if you accidentally go too long, you'll smell it (which SHOULD prevent you from actually using it and serving it like another commenter on here). And you can simply fill the pot with hot water, wash it out and start again.
Tip 3: For the "Bain Marie" or water bath, line a roasting pan with a dish cloth. Place the flan on top, place in the oven, and then pour piping hot water half way up the sides of the flan dish.
Tip 4: My flans used to turn out "bubbly" for lack of a better word. I have since discovered that I was overcooking them. It's scary to remove it from the oven when it still seems so jiggly, but trust me, it'll be okay. Insert a nice near the center...if it comes out clean, it's fine, no matter how "wet" it looks. Chill for 4 hours or more for best results.
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Creme caramel has always been my favorite dessert, and this is a lovely, simple version of it!...