May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

I'm not Mexican, but I had a sudden urge to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Honestly, I'll take any excuse to enjoy good food of a different culture. I made a pretty involved and semi-authentic spread complete with salsa, guacamole, chicken tacos, carne asada, beans, shrimp ceviche, virgin piƱa colada and pomegranate sangria, and for desert, flan...all from scratch! It actually turned out to be quite fast and simple. Actually, the flan was so delicious and easy, I thought I should share it...

1 and 1/2 cup sugar
6 eggs
1 can evaporated milk (or whole milk if desired)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325°F. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup sugar over medium flame until it melts and becomes caramel (you will have to stir continuously). Pour the hot caramel into a ceramic or glass pie dish. Quickly tilt the dish around so the bottom is coated with caramel. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, evaporated and sweetened condensed milks, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Pour the mixture on top of the now hardened caramel. Fill a large baking tray with about 1 inch warm water and place the pie dish in the center of it (this will act as a water bath that will prevent the flan from cracking and will help it bake evenly). Place the tray in the center of the oven and allow to bake for 1 hour. If you stick a toothpick just outside the center of the flan and it comes out clean, then it is finished baking. Let the flan cool in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Invert flan onto a serving dish so the caramel flows on top of it. ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!!