Fig Flan – A delicious alternative to Figgy Pudding

My dear friend Suvir Saran was back in Minneapolis recently. He graciously offered to teach a class here at Bret’s Table. I was thrilled with the prospect and a small group of us enjoyed recipes from both of his books, Indian Home Cooking and American Masala.

Fig FlanFor dessert at our class I served his famous fig flan. This dessert came about on a cold snowy day when he and Charlie were home at their farm. Craving something sweet on a cold they they foraged in their pantry and could only come up with some dried figs and fig jam. These two delicious ingredients were the inspiration for this creamy, dense dessert.

I made this dessert two ways, once following his recipe but the second time, mixing the cream cheese and eggs and condensed milk in a stand mixer instead of using a blender for those ingredients.

After whizzing the half and half mixture in the blender, I folded in the cream cheese mixture and proceeded according to the recipe. Using the blender for all the ingredients gives the flan a lighter, fluffier texture. Mixing some of the ingredients and blending the other gives the batter a more dense texture. Either way both are delicious.

from American Masala by Suvir Saran with Raquel Pelzel

4 dried figs (about 3 ounces), finely chopped
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups half-and-half
8 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup dark rum
2 tablespoons fig jam
1 (14-ounces) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
1-inch piece cinnamon stick

Set an oven rack to the lowest position and preheat your oven to 350°F.

Place figs, half-and-half, and rum in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover the pan, and steep the figs for 10 minutes.

Place the condensed milk, eggs, cream cheese, and fig jam in a blender and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the half-and-half, figs and rum and blend until they are completely incorporated.

Bring sugar, water and cinnamon stick to a simmer in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and remove the pan from the heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear. Return the saucepan to the heat and bring the liquid to a boil, swirling the pan every now and then, until the syrup caramelizes to a deep brown, 4-5 more minutes.

Immediately pour the caramel into a 2 ½ quart metal charlotte mold or a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Carefully remove the cinnamon stick with a spoon or tongs. Tip the mold or pan to coat the bottom and sides with the caramel. Let it cool for a few minutes and then pour the custard mixture into it.

Line an 8-inch square baking pan (or a larger rectangular baking pan, if using a loaf pan) with a doubled kitchen towel. Put the mold in the baking pan on top of the towel and then place the pan into the oven. Use a cup to add hot water to the baking pan, adding enough water to reach the middle of the mold or loaf pan, adding enough water to reach the middle of the mold or loaf pan.

Bake the flan until the custard is set but still jiggles when shaken and a skewer stuck into the flan about 1 inch from the pan edges comes out clean, about 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Carefully lift the mold out of the pan. Turn off the oven and let the water in the baking disk cool a little before removing it. Refrigerate the flan until it is completely chilled.

To serve, set the mold over direct heat until the bottom gets hot, about 1 minute. (This is to melt the bottom layer of caramel so that the flan will slip out of the mold.) Run a knife around the edge of the flan to loosen it from the mold. Place a serving platter over the mold and then invert the mold onto the platter. Lift off the mold. Cut the flan into wedges or slices and serve.

This entry was posted in Desserts, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *