Key Lime Coconut Flan

I have been fending off a cold this week which has put me off of most food, but somehow has left me craving the smooth, creamy textures and simple flavors of pudding, custard, or flan.  I decided to go with the flan.  I thought that I might add a little citrus for some additional vitamin C, and before you know it I was making a Key Lime Coconut Flan.

By the way, I am a total advocate of flan for breakfast.  I mean eggs and milk, right! Protein and calcium, all wrapped into one delightfully creamy treat.  The only concern is the sugar.  I still need to work on finding a way around using sweetened condensed milk in my flan, but then again one serving of flan has about the same amount of sugar in it as most breakfast yogurts.  Although that might be more reflective of the disgusting amounts of sugar going into breakfast yogurt then the fact that it is okay to eat that much sugar in your morning flan.  I’ll have to work on it.  I have made homemade sweetened condensed milk before.  I’ll just have to rework it to use less sugar.

For a low fat version, use fat-free sweetened condensed and evaporated milk.  It will turn out fine.  I have done it before.  The only concern is the other crap they put into the sweetened condensed and evaporated milk to make up for the lack of fat.  Flan is one of those things that just never seems quite right when you substitute the evaporated and sweetened condensed milk out for other dairy or gelatin products. When you do, it is no longer flan, or at least not good flan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 (14 oz.) can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 (12 oz.) can of Evaporated Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Key Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Coconut

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a large round baking dish or 4-5 smaller ramekins.  The key to picking a good flan dish is that it should have high (~2″-3″) sides and should nestle easily in a larger (9″ x 13″) pan since you will be cooking your flan in a steam bath.
  3. On the stove top, melt the sugar and water into a golden syrup.  It can take about 10 – 15 minutes to get the sugar nicely caramelized.
  4. Pour the caramel syrup directly into the bottom of the flan dish.
  5. Allow the syrup to cool and solidify slightly.  I usually give it about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, key lime juice, salt, and vanilla extract together.
  7. Add the coconut.
  8. Fill the bottom of a large pan with about 1″ of water.
  9. Gently set the flan dish into the water bath.
  10. Gently pour the flan custard over the caramel in the flan dish.
  11. Carefully slid the flan into the oven.
  12. Allow the flan to bake for about an hour – slightly less if you decide to use smaller individual ramekins.  Check on the flan every once in a while to make sure that the steam bath has not dried out – it shouldn’t, but best to be on the safe side.
  13. Gently remove the flan from the oven, and lift it out of the steam bath.
  14. Allow the flan to cool fully, and refrigerate before serving.  It is best to let it refrigerate overnight, especially if you are planning to flip it out upside down for serving.
  15. If you choose to, you should be able to lightly run a butter knife along the sides of the flan dish and flip your flan out upside-down so that the flan will stand on its own with the caramel sauce drizzling down its sides.  I usually do not bother with this, and just use a spoon to scoop out the flan directly from the dish.  I find it less fussy and easier to store.
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