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Pecan Flan

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I took a break of almost four weeks from creating and posting recipes to work exclusively on the final steps of my cookbook. I have to confess that I really missed cooking and I could not wait to share my next recipe with you. Since I am currently in Brazil (I traveled here to mainly shoot the cover of my book) I thought I should share a recipe from my childhood. This dessert brings me back the memories of the days I used to spend in company of my good friend Geo, whose mom makes the best Pecan Flan in the world! Smooth just like a regular flan, this recipe has a little surprise: the chopped pecans form a slightly crunchy crust on the bottom. How? It happens naturally: the pecans tend to float towards the top during baking time; and when the flan is unmolded, they end up at the bottom forming a crust. This flan is one of the best desserts I have ever had growing up and I want to thank Geo and Tia Mara for sharing this delight with me, so I could share with you. Enjoy with your family and friends. Happy Easter!

Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 ½ tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped, divided

Directions:

Caramel – pour sugar into a medium sauce pan over medium low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and turns golden brown. Pour caramel into a 10-inch mold pan and swirl the caramel to completely cover the base and about 1-inch up the sides. Allow to cool and harden.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, eggs, cocoa powder and ½ cup pecans in a large blender. Blend for about 20 seconds. If the ingredients do not fit all at once, divide them equally into 2 batches. Transfer milk mixture into a large bowl, and fold in remaining pecans.

Pour milk mixture into the mold pan (caramel must be firm) and cover with aluminum foil.

Place the mold pan in a large ovenproof dish filled up with warm water. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes. The flan is ready when you stick a knife in it and it turns out clean when you remove it.

Remove from oven and allow cool completely. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

To unmold gently run a small knife all around the mold pan, then carefully flip it over a large plate. Slice and serve with a drizzle of the caramel.

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