Monday, 20 January 2014

Flan de naranja

Oranges are at their best in Spain right now.

Do NOT do this at home.
Or well, when wouldn't they? Fresh from a tree (either your won or someone else's!) their fragrant juiciness is one of the best things I know.

And since here in the Nordics the sun doesn't exactly spoil us right now. So, one has to be crafty and do all the sunny spoiling oneself!

So, lately orange has become one of my absolute favourite ingredients. I find myself lugging them back home by the truckload. This recipe comes from Spain (where else!) and is from Rick Stein's Spain charting his culinary journey across that great country.

This is Valencia's take on flan, one of the most popular puddings in Spain, only this time made of orange juice. The result? Sweet, creamy and intensely orangey. In the name of portion control (so integral to the month of January) I halved the recipe listed below. Though I did eat them all myself so... so much for the control.

This is easy, but does take time - you have to let it set until the next day. The only tricky bit is making the caramel. A big chunk of it always seems to get stuck at the bottom of the pan. I therefore highly recommend you make a bigger batch of it. For instance, even if you make only half the recipe, I suggest you make the caramel according to the full recipe. In order to really play up the orangeyness I used orange juice instead of water and also threw in a pinch of powdered ginger. If possible, do use specially make flan or crème brûlée- moulds as they have thinner walls. which ensure the puddings cook thoroughly. Also remember that the higher the mold, the more likely they are to crack as you slide them out of them.

Depending on the size of the molds this serves 6-8

The puddings:

4 large oranges
300 g sugar
14 yolks
4 large eggs

Caramel sauce:

100 g sugar
1/2 dl water (or orange juice)
(pinch of ground ginger)

Pre-heat oven to 160º. Place 6-8 ramekins/ pudding moulds into a small roasting tin and bring a kettle full of water to boil.

Measure the ingredients for the caramel into a small, heavy-based pan and leave overt a very low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then increase the heat to high and leave to boil rapidly (don't stir, as the movement would prevent the sugar from toasting!)  until the syrup is dark amber in colour. Keep a very vigilant eye on it though as if you leave it too late, it will be a bitter mess.

Remove from the heat and pour into the bottom of the moulds, twisting to coat some of the sides too (you need to be quick as the caramel sets really quickly!). 

Grate the zest of 2 oranges and squeeze the juices out of all of them - you should have 4 dl of juice. Measure the zest, juice and sugar into a pan and bring to boil, occasionally stirring, until sugar has dissolved. When it comes to boil let simmer rapidly for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile whisk the yolks and eggs in a bowl. Pour the juice mixture into the eggs, stirring and then run through a sieve for a silky consistency. Pour into the moulds, por boiling water into the roasting tin so it comes to halfway up the moulds and bake (depending on the size of the moulds) for 15-20 minutes. 

Remove from the oven, lift out of the water and cool. Chill in the fridge, covered, for at least 4 hours (preferably until the next day) before serving.

To serve, invert the moulds into small serving platters and let the caramel from the bottom of the moulds fall on top. If too much caramel has stuck to the bottom of the moulds, dip them into some boiling water - this will soften it.

I also served some caramelized orange peel. Bring 2 dl water and 1 dl sugar to boil in a pan. Wash the oranges thoroughly and peel thing strips out of it. In case you're not using one of those fancy citrus scrapers that produce fine strands, use a regular peeler and then finely slice them into thin strands. Cook in the syrup over medium heat (stirring occasionally) until the liquid has almost evaporated.





  1. Reading your recipe today, what does dl mean when you refer to the amount of liquid?