Now we are sharing our “Spanish flan” recipe. In preparation for our ambachefs Spanish tapas supperclub we tried 4 different recipes without much success. Don’t get me wrong, they were all nice but we were looking for the perfect, wobbly and light creme caramel. Some of the recipes we found used double cream, some creme fraiche but although the flavour was there, the consistency wasn’t right, they were just a bit too dense. The ones that used just milk, they didn’t have vanilla, just orange zest/ juice.After a few attempts we found the perfect combination! Soft and light and with the perfect balanced flavour of orange and vanilla. We made a few extra for our supper club and there were none left!
Seville orange crème caramel (serves 6-8)
For the crème mix:
500ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod
Zest of one orange
100g caster sugar
2 eggs plus 4 yolks
For the caramel:
120g caster sugar
Grease six ramekins with butter and set aside. Pour the milk into a small pan, cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape the seeds into the pan. Add the pod and bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat, add the orange zest, cover and leave to infuse while you make the caramel.
Put the sugar for the caramel in a deep saucepan (as light as possible so you can see the colour better) and just barely cover with water. Bring to a simmer over a fairly gentle heat, then cook until thickened, syrupy and toasty-smelling. Divide between the moulds, working quickly before it sets, and swirling to cover the bases. Set aside.
Put the eggs and yolks into a heatproof bowl and whisk together. Add the sugar and whisk gently to just combine. Remove the pods from the milk and slowly pour into the bowl, stirring all the time, then leave to settle for 15 minutes while the caramel sets. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark two and boil a kettle.
Skim the foam from the top of the custard, pour through a sieve into the ramekins and cover each one tightly with foil, then put in a baking tin. Pour hot water into the tin to two-thirds of the way up the ramekins. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 12-15 minutes, or until the custard is just set but still slightly wobbly at the centre. Remove from the bain-marie and leave to cool. Refrigerate until completely cold. If doing a big pie dish cook slowly for more than one hour and keep checking.
To unmould, dip them into warm water and invert on to plates
For next time, as per our friend Sophie Goodwin suggestion, we will add a little sprig of rosemary to the mix. It gives an amazing flavour that works really well with the orange zest!