Saturday, February 21, 2009

Seville Orange Flan

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My annual obsession with seville oranges continues, this installment being a perfectly textured flan. Yeah, you heard me. Perfect.

It's heavy on the eggs, but doesn't taste too eggy... I personally like it to be a touch on the eggy side, though. Some people get all freaked out by the eggy flan thing, and they should just go eat some creme brulee and get over it.

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I don't use any cream in this one because it inhibits the sharp, clean flavor of the sevilles. Whole milk lends just enough richness, but still keeps the flan silky and light.
I cook my caramel for the bottom of the ramekins a hair darker than usual, for some bitter twang.
Lots of vanilla beans and a little drizzle of creme fraiche are the only other players in the dish, providing the equipment for a jooshed up creamsicle.
If you can get your hands on seville oranges, do two things with them. Make the cuban roast pork shoulder from the Dean and Deluca cookbook, and serve this flan for dessert.

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Seville Orange Flan
yield: 5 (or more if using smaller ramekins)

Caramel:
3 oz water
1 1/2 cups sugar

Custard:
3 cups whole milk
zest of 1 large (or 2 small) seville oranges
2 vanilla beans
3/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
4 eggs
7 egg yolks
1 Tb grand marnier

1. Infuse the milk: split open the vanilla beans and scrape the seeds into a sauce pot. Add the pods to the pot. Add the orange zest and milk. Bring to a full boil, then cover, remove from heat, and let steep on the counter for 2 full hours.

2. Make the caramel: Spray 5 ramekins with pan release. Place ramekins in a roasting pan lined with a tea towel (this keeps the ramekins from sliding around). Combine the sugar and water in a pot. Stir very gently with your finger until the sugar is absorbed. Place pot over high heat and cook, brushing down the sides of the pot with a pastry bag dipped in water (OR- this is what I do: Cover the pot with a lid and allow the condensation to wash down the sides of the pot for you. Just stay close so you can occasionally peek to see how your caramel is coming along)
Once the sugar is reaching an amber color, remove pot from the heat. Tilt pot around gently to encourage even caramelizing. Ladle the caramel into the ramekins. Set aside while you make the custard.
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3. Custard: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar, and salt. Have a heatproof container and a fine sieve or chinois at the ready. Remove cover from pot of infused milk and bring to a full boil. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the eggs. Strain custard, then stir in the grand marnier. The custard base can be made ahead of time.

4. Bake: Pour custard base into the prepared ramekins. Fill the roasting pan with
very hot water so that the ramekins are about 3/4 of the way submerged. Cover pan with foil and bake in a 325 degree oven for 60-90 minutes, until flans are set but not wobbly. Once ramekins are cool enough to handle, remove from the water bath and let sit at room temp for about 10 minutes (putting hot flans right in the fridge causes the custard to crack). Refrigerate overnight for best results.

5. Serve: Run the tip of a knife around the edge of ramekin. Place a dessert plate on top of the ramekin. Invert flan onto the plate (you may need to shake it a little until you hear the flan separate from the ramekin). Drizzle with a little creme fraiche a la Jackson Pollack.

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50 comments:

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow, Brittany! That flan looks amazingly, well, perfect! I would love to dig in right now!!

matt wright said...

rocking - this is looks bloody amazing!!! Great photos too!!

Peter M said...

I'm in love with your flan...won't you share some, please?

Brittany said...

Jenn- I think thats twice now that you've been first to comment. : )

Matt- aw. thanks.

Peter- Now, now. I shared the recipe, which will have to do, as it wont fedex well.

Brooke said...

If I have to hear you say the word "joosh" again, you will be in for a world of hurt. Same goes for spraying me with hairspray. That ends now.

This flan was the absolute best I've ever had though. Serious. And Heather was a genius to take a scoop of the baked chocolate truffle with it. Serve it with a chocolate cookie or something, cuz that was awesome.

super effing duper.

Jessica @ Bring Your Appetite said...

I have to say, flan is just one of those desserts that has never appealed to me. However, these look pretty tempting, especially with the infusion of orange. Maybe I should get over my inhibitions, and give this one a shot! ;)

Heather said...

I can testify that this is the best thing I've had in my mouth, ever. EVER. Stuff the head jokes, people, this was fucking perfect.

Heather said...

Also, you and Brookie are the nicest, prettiest and funniest/funnest girls ever, ever. Thanks for showing me a good time. :)

Foodycat said...

You did this to wound me didn't you? I post about failboat custard and you counter with perfect custard! It just ain't right.

AnticiPlate said...

Oh Seville Oranges. How I love The. You realize you are the first person to introduce them to me....right?

The Spiteful Chef said...

I'm so intimidated by Sevilles. I use them in marinades, but am always afraid to roll out the sweet apps. Does the bitter shine through, or does it drown out the Seville flavor? It being the sugar, durr.

Brittany said...

Heather- I had such fun. Like, too much fun. I was hungover. How the fuck did that happen??
Your the coolest prettiest funniest blogger I know.

Foodycat- I think you should give this recipe a try. It can be valentines day part two.

Kari- Nuh Uh!! Really??

Kristie- It's all about being liberal with the zest and conservative with the juice. Srsly. You need to try going sweet with your sevilles. The bitter in this flan is more of just a tingle.

cook eat FRET said...

ok so i need to make this
i love flan
i love orange anything

and i am so jealous that you all got together... so nice!

Ingrid said...

Beautiful, beautiful! I don't mind eggy!

Terrific photos!
~ingrid

Lo said...

Well, if that's not positively fabulous... so jealous that others actually got to sample it!

Lo said...

Well, if that's not positively fabulous... so jealous that others actually got to sample it!

Brittany said...

Claudia- I wish you could have been there too! Now THAT would have been festive. Like, call in sick the next day festive.
And, yeah- you should probably make this.

Ingrid- : )

Lo- Heather got to sample my whole spread....and yes, I realize how wrong that sounds.

Peabody said...

Your flan recipe and mine are very similar, though I do use a little cream. I am loving this. It makes me want to make a meyer lemon one.

cookiecrumb said...

Oh, you are a magician.

I have an orange tree in my yard. Not Seville; much tamer. It's the best orange I've ever tasted, but not bitter. We think it's Summer Navel. I wish I could send you some, but California doesn't allow.

Emily said...

Mmm, I bet it would taste like a creamsicle. I've never had Seville orange before. Now I'm very curious!

I've only made flan, once, so I should try again.

Brittany said...

Pea- YES! We must make meyer lemon everything while we still can!

cookie- jealous. I love the navels as weel. The heirloom navel is my favorite "just for eating" orange.

Em- Sevilles rock. They are kind of a bitter marmalade-y orange with super tangy fruity zest. A lot of grocery stores are starting to get a little more imaginative with their citrus selection. You might be able to find them if you have a decent grocer near you. Maybe you can bribe the produce manager into getting them in?

cook eat FRET said...

i cant stop thinking about this

i swear

cook eat FRET said...

i'm buying the milk tonight
i can't take it anymore

cook eat FRET said...

in the oven
i forgot the alcohol damnit

cook eat FRET said...

ummmm - hold up
was there juice in this recipe?

because there is zero mention of the juice - only a pic of squeezed oranges but nothing in recipe or directions....

cook eat FRET said...

not setting... still liquid after 75 minutes.
i switched to convection and upped it to 350

why do i try to make desserts? why???

cook eat FRET said...

they set they set they set
fucking a
theyyyyyyy seeeeeeeeeeet!!!!!!!

Brittany said...

Fret (as you have lived up to that title today)- see my reply on your most recent blog post. But I forgot to mention that the booze is just gravy. Not a key element of the recipe. It should still be pretty tasty.

cook eat FRET said...

oh brittany...

this was beyond good
it was totally luscious
we shared one for breakfast
being that it had orange in it, and all

thank you for making my dream a reality
i am indebted to you
yes i am
forever
and ever

or until we can call it even

Brittany said...

C- You have no idea how much it warms my heart to hear that. So glad you tried it.

Dazy said...

I've always wanted to make flan. But the whole caramel making process gives me the creeps! I tried once,
and it failed. May be I should give it a try once again bcoz this looks amazing!

Taste of Beirut said...

I wish I could get a hold of Seville oranges! Your flan looks gorgeous but in Lebanon we use the oranges in savory dishes as well as marmelade and such.

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