Dulce de Leche Flan
Chef Alejandro Morgan
Flan, a custard-style dessert with Latin roots, falls smack into the comfort food category. At Lolinda’s in San Francisco, chef Morgan gives his flan a sophisticated twist, enriching it with cream cheese, sour cream, and dulce de leche. The last ingredient can be made by placing two 14-ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk with labels removed on their sides in a large saucepan, covering with water and bringing to a boil. The cans have to simmer, completely covered with water, for 4 hours to create the caramelized and thickened dulce de leche.
9½ oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
3 oz. sour cream
22 oz. (2 cups plus ½ tbsp.) dulce de leche
1½ vanilla beans
¾ cup plus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
Generous pinch kosher salt
19 oz. (2 1/3 cups) evaporated milk
8 large eggs
Fresh fruit, optional
1. In food processor, combine cream cheese, sour cream,and cooled dulce de leche. (If necessary, divide and work in batches.) Blend until well incorporated, stopping to scrape the sides and the bottom.
2. Scrape vanilla beans and add seeds to cream cheese mixture in food processor along with sugar and the salt. Process again until smooth.
3. With food processor running slowly, add evaporated milk; add eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
4. Strain mixture into a large spouted measuring cup. Divide evenly between 24 (5-ounce) baking tins or ramekins.
5. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place ramekins into large roasting pan; fill with water to come about halfway up the tins. Bake in water bath until flans are set, about 30 minutes.
6. Carefully remove flans from oven. If necessary, remove some water from water bath before moving. Let cool in water for about 5 minutes. Then, carefully transfer ramekins to cooling racks and cool completely. Refrigerate until cold.
7. Serve with fresh fruit, a cookie or a combination of the two, if desired.
Photograph courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board