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Lime Meringue Flan (Pudim de Claras)

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I grew up eating this delightful dessert: my mom used to make it a lot when I was a little girl growing up in Brazil. For me, this dessert tastes just like my childhood: sweet, with a hint of lime zest (to make it more exciting), and extremely light in texture! One more awesome thing: it has only 4 ingredients (and they can all be found at your regular grocery store - yeah!!! This time, I am not sending you to international markets to find ingredients). I made this family recipe for a small gathering with friends at my house, and they sure enjoyed it! I hope you enjoy it too!

Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ cups sugar, divided
  • 10 egg whites
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Zest of 1 lime

Directions:

 Pour 2 cups sugar into a 10-inch bundt pan (see Cook’s Notes). Cook over medium heat, directly on the stove top burner, until the sugar melts completely and turns golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Swirl the pan allowing the caramel to completely cover the base and about 1-inch up the sides of pan. Set aside to cool and harden.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl of a standing mixer with the whisker attachment, combine egg whites and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes (see Cook’s Notes). Turn speed to medium and slowly pour remaining 1 ½ cup sugar; beat until well incorporated, 2 minutes. Turn off mixer and fold in lime zest.

Scoop meringue into bundt pan (see Cook’s Notes) and cover tightly with aluminium foil. Place bundt pan into a large ovenproof baking pan filled up with warm water up to half way. Carefully transfer to oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in centre comes off clean.

Remove foil and allow cooling to room temperature. Unmold flan by carefully flipping it over a large plate. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

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Cook’s Notes:

You can make the caramel in a medium sauce pan, and then pour into the bundt pan. This is a safer option for beginners, since the bundt pan does not have a handle and it can get really hot during the process.

For this specific flan, the egg whites must be really stiff before the sugar is added. The best way to know if the eggs are stiff enough is by turning the bowl upside-down. The egg whites should be so stiff they will stick so much to the bowl that even if you turn the mixing bowl upside-down they will not move. Please do it slowly, so in case egg whites are not yet stiff, you won’t end up with a mess on the floor!

After you scoop all the meringue into the bundt pan, gently beat the pan against a countertop a few times (let’s say 5 or 6 times) to avoid air bubbles to form on the surface of the flan. As you are shaking and beating the pan, you should see a few air bubbles being released; that means that the flan batter is taking all the possible room available inside that pan. Do not skip this step, but please be gentle!

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Having a good time with great friends around the dinner table is a favorite at The Presser's home :)

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