My mom LOVES flan. I wasn't even going to make a dessert for Easter dinner, but at the last minute, while flipping through my numerous recipe print-outs, I came across this recipe.
First, toast the coconut in the oven. Try not to be a gung-ho multi-tasker and end up burning the coconut. If you can smell it, it's probably too late and you've burned it.
While the coconut is toasting, boil then simmer the milk, coconut milk and coconut cream. When the coconut is nice and toasty, throw it into the milk mixture to steep.
If you're good, you could also have been making the caramel during this time. Put the sugar, lemon juice and water into a pan and boil until it's a nice amber color, like this:
I stirred the caramel even though the recipe said not to because I am a rebel.
Pour this caramel into six ramekins. I just used one large round pan (again, the rebel tendencies prevail). The baking time will differ, but I'll mention it later.
WARNING: once you pour this caramel into the pan (especially a metal pan), the pan will be extremely hot. Sugar can heat to a much higher temp than water!!
Whisk the eggs and yolks together in a big bowl.
Strain the milk mixture and whisk it in as well. I did it in thirds because I was afraid of accidentally making coconut scrambled eggs...
It made me kind of sad to strain out all that yummy toasted coconut and just throw it away. I wonder how it would be if I left it in the flan? I'll experiment with that someday...
But I digress...Pour that mixture into the pan (or ramekins) on top of the caramel. Put that pan into a roasting pan. Pour in hot water till it comes up one third of the way up the pan (hot tap water is fine, no need to boil water).
Cover the entire thing with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, if you used ramekins, one hour if you made one big flan!
Let it cool completely. I like to take it out of the water bath and place on a kitchen towel to keep it from carry-over cooking.
The edges will pull away from the pan and you can just invert it onto a plate. Watch out for all that delicious caramel liquid...make sure the plate you are using to invert the flan has a lip, or at least enough volume capacity to contain it...no one likes caramel sauce all over the counter. If you have the time (and patience), chill it in the refrigerator. It's yummy when chilled!
Toasted Coconut Flan from Michael Chiarello
2 cups milk
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup coconut cream
1 cup toasted coconut, recipe follows, or store bought toasted coconut
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoon lemon juice
3 egg yolks
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine milk, coconut milk, and coconut cream in a saucepan. Stir, bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Add toasted coconut and infuse for 15 minutes.
To make the caramel: combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepot and cook over high heat, without stirring, until it darkens to amber. Pour the caramel evenly into 6 (4-ounce) ramekins and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and the yolks. Strain the milk mixture into the eggs and whisk to combine. Fill each ramekin with this mixture, then place ramekin in roasting pan. Create a water bath by filling the roasting pan 1/3 way with hot water, and cook, covered with foil, for 25 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
To unmold the flan: take a paring knife and run it around the sides of the ramekin to loosen the flan. To help it along, you may also place the ramekin in a shallow bowl with warm water until it comes halfway up the sides for a few seconds. Invert a serving plate on top of the ramekin and flip over to unmold