Total 14 hours (includes cooling and chilling times)
Active 20 mins
Makes 6 servings
TIP: You can garnish the flan with strawberries, chopped nuts, or edible flowers.
For the Caramel
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cold water
For the Flan
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
Assorted berries, to serve (optional)
Chile Maple Pecans (recipe follows), to serve (optional)
Chile Maple Pecans
2 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons Mexican chile seasoning, such as Montana Mex
Preheat the oven to 325°F and position a rack in the center of the oven.
For the caramel: In a heavy-bottom 2-quart saucepan, combine the sugar and cold water over medium-high heat and cook the mixture until it begins to turn golden brown around the edges, 7 to 8 minutes. If crystals form around the edge, use a pastry brush dipped in water to wash down the sides of the pan. When the edges are golden brown, begin swirling the pan to encourage even browning and to prevent burning. Cook until the mixture is a medium amber color, an additional minute or so. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl another 30 seconds so the caramel darkens slightly. Pour the hot caramel into the bottom of a 9-inch casserole dish and immediately swirl the dish to coat the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides. The caramel will begin to harden so work quickly and carefully. Place the casserole in a larger roasting pan and set aside.
For the flan: Heat some water in a kettle over high heat. Remove from the heat and reserve for the next step.
In a heavy-duty medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, sugar and salt over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, to prevent scorching. Remove the pan from the heat.
Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla until smooth. Whisk the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent scrambling. Strain the mixture into the prepared caramel-coated casserole dish and scatter the chopped ginger evenly over the flan base. Place the roasting pan in the oven and carefully pour the hot water from the kettle around the casserole so that it comes halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake the custard in the water bath until the edges are just set but the center still jiggles slightly when shaken, about 25 to 35 minutes.
Carefully transfer the casserole to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, cover the flan and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, up to 3 days. Serve with assorted berries and Chile Maple Pecans, if desired.
Chile Maple Pecans
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the pecans, maple syrup, and chile seasoning. Using a rubber spatula, toss well to coat the pecans. Spread the pecans on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake, stirring and checking every 3 to 5 minutes, until the pecans begin to smell toasted and are a light golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes total. Keep in mind they will continue to cook as they cool on the tray. Let cool and break apart into large or small pieces.