Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


In honor of St. Josemaria Escriva, on Tuesday, we had Flan for dessert. This dessert is a little intimidating the first time you try it, but once you've done it one time, it's a breeze to put together. The final result, however, is a big "wow." Not only the presentation, but the taste. The "burned" sugar really flavors this dish and it's such a unique flavor. I made individual flans, because I have some lovely ramekins, and the kids like "their own." But, it is just as good as a big flan, just use a shallow ceramic or glass dish. Start far enough ahead that the Flan can chill completely before serving.

The Joy of Cooking

3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
5 large eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/8 t. salt
3 c. whole or low-fat milk
3/4 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place 3/4 c. sugar in a small, heavy saucepan. Drizzle water evenly over the top. Place the pan over medium heat and, without stirring, very gently swirl the pan until a clear syrup forms. It is important that the syrup clarify before it boils, so move the pan off and back on the heat if necessary. After the sugar dissolves, raise the heat to high and bring the syrup to a rolling boil; cover the pan tightly and boil for 2 minutes. Uncover the pan and cook the syrup until it begins to darken. Gently swirl the pan by the handle and cook the syrup until it turns a deep amber. Quickly pour the syrup (be careful -- it will blister you if you touch it) into eight 6-oz. ramekins or custard cups or a 2 to 2-1/2 cup dish. Using a potholder, immediately tilt the dish(es) to coat the bottom.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and salt, just until blended. Heat the milk just until steaming and gradually whisk hot milk into egg mixture. Stir gently until sugar is dissolved. Stir in vanilla. Pour egg mixture into ramekins or dish. Place in a large baking dish or roaster and place in the oven. Pour hot water into the pan, carefully avoiding the flan dish(es), about halfway up the sides of the cups or dish. Bake 40 to 60 minutes for individual cups and 60 to 90 minutes for a large dish. They should be firmly set in the center.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. To unmold, run a knife around the edges and flip onto a plate (it helps if you put the plate upside down directly on top of the dish -- especially if you made a large flan). If necessary (for really stubborn ones) dip briefly into hot water.

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