Paris Bistro style CREME CARAMEL flan

Creamy luscious custard flan reveals its jiggly personality.
A syrupy, sweet, dark amber character lulls the smooth culinary classic to bed.

When I was in Paris, I was aching to reproduce one of my favourite custard desserts.
A close second to my absolute favourite crème brulée delight...
this flan is a vacation reminder of blissful joy in Parisian quartiers.

Inspired by several welcoming bistros, the one that stood out the most was a...
crème caramel with a deep, rich caramel puddling around a delectable light textured flan.

After a full day of walking and admiring the sites...
a sweet treat would not make me guilt ridden even if I tried.

There were trials and errors until it suited my palate and hopefully yours as well ;o)
Here’s my version of crème caramel which is not too eggy nor...
is it too sweet and there’s enough rich syrup for all to enjoy.

Crème Caramel
classic French Bistro style

NO BEATER required
yields a 9 inch (23cm) flan
OR individual ramekins:
either 6 x 4oz..(1/2 cup) / 125ml - bake for 30 min.
...OR 4 x 6oz.(3/4 cup) / 200ml - bake for 35 min.

(American /Metric measures)

Caramel syrup:
. 1/4 cup (60ml) water
. 3/4 cup (165g) granulated sugar
. 1/4 cup (55g) Turbinado sugar
        (or use dark, brown sugar)
Milk infusion:
. 2 cups (500ml) whole milk 3.25%
. 1 Vanilla pod, cut lengthwise and beans scraped
     (or use 1 tsp. (5ml) pure Vanilla extract)
Egg custard:
. 5 xLarge eggs
. 1 xLarge egg yolk
. 1/2 cup (110g) granulated sugar
the vanilla pod can be rinsed and later used to make fragrant sugar...about 1 cup sugar.

. Prepare a big roasting pan to later place the shallow 9 inch (23cm) oven-proof dish inside.  Set aside.
. For serving, a large dish with a slight rim is needed in order to capture the caramel sauce.

Caramel syrup:
1. In a small saucepan, place both sugars and water on MEDIUM heat .  Do not stir it.  Let it boil until a dark amber color appears.  This will take anywhere between 15-17 minutes.   Immediately, pour the caramel into the cake pan. 
Milk infusion:
2. With the same saucepan used for the caramel, pour the milk and add the vanilla beans as well as the pod.  On MEDIUM heat, bring the milk to a light boil (bubbles will appear around the edges of the pot).  Remove it from the heat and cover the pot to have the milk infuse for 15 minutes.
Egg mix:
3. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk the eggs and the sugar by hand.  Set aside only while the milk finishes infusing.
. Pre-heat the oven to 325F/160C/Gas3.  Position the rack in the center of the oven.
Custard assembly:
4. Initially, while continuously whisking the egg and sugar mix, slowly stream in the warm milk.  Afterwards, pour the rest of it and combine.
5. Place the prepared caramel pan into the roasting pan.  Hold a fine mesh sieve over the caramel and pour the custard over top.
6.  Pour hot faucet water into the roasting pan so that it reaches halfway up the edges.
7. BAKE for 45 minutes.  Remove the cake pan from the water bath and onto a cooling rack for about 2 hours to cool.  Refrigerate it for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. 
. Serve: lightly run a knife around the edges of the pan.   Place the pan for a minute in a sink filled with a decent amount of hot water in order for the caramel to soften and will be easier to unmould.  Wipe the water away from the bottom before placing a large, rimmed serving dish over top.  Quickly invert the cake pan.  Wait 30 seconds and then remove the pan to divulge a luscious flan.  Pour the remaining caramel over top.  Serve cold and enjoy.

'Le Bonheur des Dames' is an embroidery boutique located within the Passage Verdeau.
The name which translates into ‘the happiness of women’ ...
could easily one day suit my fantasy future café and pastry shop. 
Why not...a gal can dream...can’t she?

Have a wonderful week everyone.
Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.

OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.