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Spanish flan… ummm.  Returning from a trip to Las Vegas a couple of weekends ago.  Lolo and I had dinner at Jose Andres’ renowned Jaleo’s, a Spanish style tapas restaurant; located inside the Cosmopolitan hotel – still can’t quite grasp the $3.9 billion cost to build the entire hotel complex.  For the dessert course, it was between three desserts.  We sat next to the open kitchen area where the desserts where being assembled.  As we looked over, they had the three we wanted, ready and plated.  So, we decided on their wonderfully creamy and rather light flan.

During our meal, I recognized a former colleague from years past.  I considered walking over to say hello, but being shy as I am, I thought what if it wasn’t him or if he would recognize me.  I didn’t walk over after all – Gosh does anyone else do this?

Since that day, I wanted more of this fabulous treat.  I went online to see if I could find the recipe and hit the jackpot – wish I could say the same from our trip to sin city.  I was delighted and wanted to give this recipe a try.  In comparison to the restaurant one, the homemade version was a bit denser, but nonetheless delicious.

The recipe indicates it serves four, but I decided to serve for six instead.

This is a recipe inspired by his mom… Spanish Flan (Adapted from José Andrés Spanish flan in my mother’s style)

Serves 6

½ cup plus ½ cup sugar
½ cup half-and-half
½ cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split
1 tsp lemon zest
½ cinnamon stick
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

Pre-heat the oven to 275 degrees.

To make the caramel, put the ½ cup sugar in a small pan.  Start cooking over low heat.  After 5 or 6 minutes, you’ll see the caramel starts turning a light brown color. Cook for another 7 or 8 minutes until it becomes a dark brown color.  Keep an eye on the caramel as it cooks; you don’t want it to burn.

Remove from the heat and carefully add ½ cup of water.  The caramel will sputter and release steam as it hardens.

Return to the low heat.  After about 5 minutes, the caramel will become thick and syrupy.  Remove from the heat and let cool a little.  Coat the bottom and sides of 6 small ramekins with the caramel, using your fingers or a spatula.

In a medium saucepan, combine the half-and-half and the cream.  Add the vanilla bean and seeds, along with the lemon zest, cinnamon, and the ¾ cup sugar.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, removing the pan from the heat just as it reaches a boil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks.  Carefully pour the hot cream mixture into the eggs, whisking vigorously in the bowl.

Strain the mixture into another bowl, then fill the ramekins.

Set the ramekins in a deep baking pan.  Carefully fill the pan with hot water up to a level in the middle of the ramekins.

Place the dish in the pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove and let the ramekins cool. 

Store the flans in the refrigerator overnight.  Serve cold.

Hope you enjoy it!