Hazelnut Flan with Roasted Cherries: A Warm Caramel, Custardy Cherry Dream

Hazelnut Flan with Roasted Cherries: A Warm Caramel, Custardy Cherry Dream

Hazelnut Flan with Roasted Cherries

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Hazelnut Flan with Roasted Cherries: Makes 8 individual flans for 8 yums Up! 

  1. Start by making the caramel to coat the ramekins: Place the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue cooking over high heat until the sugar caramelizes to a dark amber color. (Really dark is great.) This will take 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully divide the warm caramel among eight small ramekins, swirling each one until the bottom is completely covered. Let the caramel cool until it’s completely set, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350˚F.  
  3. Scatter the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and toast them in the oven until they are very light brown, about 10 minutes. Let them cool completely. Roughly chop them. 
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 300˚F. 
  5. Combine the milk, cream, half the sugar, the salt, and the hazelnuts in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture steep for 30 minutes. 
  6. Whisk together the eggs, yolks, and the remaining sugar in a mixing bowl. Bring the cream mixture back to a boil, and temper the hot liquid into the eggs by adding it, a ladle at a time, while whisking vigorously. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Discard the hazelnuts and return the liquid to the saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. 
  7. Place the caramel-coated ramekins in a roasting pan and fill them all the way to the top with the custard. Carefully add enough warm water to the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, carefully transfer it to the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the flan is completely set. 
  8. Let the pan cool for 15 minutes, or until you’re able to handle the ramekins easily. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and refrigerate the flans, covered with plastic, overnight. 
  9. About an hour before serving the flans, adjust the oven rack to the top position and preheat the oven to 450˚F. 
  10. Arrange the cherries in a single layer in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with the sugar, salt, 
  11. and pepper. Roast the cherries for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sugar starts to caramelize and the cherries begin to release their juice. 
  12. Remove the pan from the oven and deglaze the pan with the Banyuls Rimage. Toss to coat the cherries with the wine. Return the pan to the oven and roast for another 5 to 7 minutes. Deglaze once again, this time with 2 tablespoons water, and toss the cherries in the sauce. Let the cherries cool slightly. 
  13. To unmold the flans, run a knife along the edge of each ramekin and invert it onto a plate, allowing the caramel to pool on top of and around the flan. Garnish the flans with the warm cherries, and serve. 

Find the recipe for Hazelnut Flan with Roasted Cherries and more in The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook by Michelle Wojtowicz, Phillip Wojtowicz, Michael Gilson, and Catherine Price. 

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