Submitted by Sabrina Pashtan of Brookline. Recipe adapted from “Dulce lo Vivas “ by Ana Bensadon and The New York Times. Sabrina gets her voluptuous, rich eggs from Smith’s Country Cheese in Winchester, MA, or Pete & Gerry’s organic, cage-free Ameraucana or Marans heirloom varieties. Eggs are at the height of sexiness in this orange almond flan, a dish that has become a perennial at our Passover Seder. Smooth, bright, rich and nutty, this flan shows off eggs at their best, marrying bright citrus with ground almonds to create the perfect dessert. While this recipe honors the Sephardic tradition during Passover, it can be served anytime. Almonds, a favorite ingredient of many desserts in southern Spain, can be traced back to Medieval Arab Andalucía.
Serves 8 using a large mold, serves 10 using individual ones
3 cups sugar 1 ½ cups water 8 egg yolks 4 whole eggs ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tablespoon grated orange zest ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier, optional ¾ cup finely ground almonds or almond flour
This flan can be made either in individual flan cups, ramekins, flan mold or a cake pan that easily inverts. The recipe yields about 10 ramekins or an 8” round cake pan or mold.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Start by making the caramel: combine 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water in a medium saucepan. On medium heat, let the syrup begin to bubble, rotating the pan as the sugar turns golden at the edges. Once the syrup has a uniform golden brown hue, within about 5 minutes, pour it immediately into the ramekins, ensuring that it spreads evenly on the bottom of the mold.
In the same saucepan, mix the remaining 2 cups of sugar with 1 cup of water over medium heat and boil for 4 minutes. Let cool. In a bowl, whisk whole eggs and yolks, adding orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, optional Grand Marnier, and almonds. Add the cooled syrup and whisk to combine. (It’s important that the syrup is at room temperature so that it doesn’t cook the eggs. If you suspect this has occurred, you can push the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any possible cooked bits of egg.) Pour the resulting mixture into your molds, but leave enough room so they don’t spill when transferring to the oven, about half an inch.
Cover each mold with foil and place them in a larger pan with enough space to fill with water. Pour hot water into the pan so that about half the height of the mold is submerged in water. Carefully place in the hot oven and bake for about 30 minutes for ramekins and up to an hour for a single mold, or until the custard is set. It should tremble slightly when shaken in the center.
Refrigerate flan after cooling for at least a couple hours. To serve, dip the bottom of the molds in hot water for just a few moments to loosen the caramel and then invert onto a plate. Drizzle all the loose caramel over the top and serve.