I never met anyone who dislikes Flan or Crème Caramel, and today I am sharing a recipe for flan, it is perfumed with cardamom and Saffron. I have added an Arabian touch to this Mexican dessert, and the outcome is a flavorful, elegant, and creamy crème caramel.
How to make Flan with saffron and cardamom
A basic flan recipe, it is a little lighter in calories since there is no condensed milk in this recipe, but there are few things to keep in mind to have the best crème caramel/flan.
You must use good quality saffron and cardamom, old cardamom when added to food gives a bitter taste, and low-quality saffron doesn’t give the orange-red color nor the flavor.
To give a creamy texture to any flan, you must temper the eggs properly. To temper, the eggs, heat the milk but do not let it come to a boil. In a different bowl whisk the eggs and gradually add the hot milk while whisking the eggs.
I always strain the custard (the hot milk mixed with the eggs) through a strainer to make sure that none of the cooked bits of eggs is in the flan or crème caramel because that will ruin the texture.
The other important step is when making the caramel.
How to make the caramel for the flan
I have seen many stirring the sugar with a spatula while it’s in the pan when making the caramel. There is an easier way that will save you from the struggle of removing hard caramel from a spatula or a wooden spoon.
Add the sugar in a pan and when some parts of the sugar turn light brown swirl the pan (please be careful when doing this step.) Swirling the pan will make the sugar mix evenly, and the caramel will form faster, not only that, but you won’t have burnt patches in the caramel. (While making the caramel there a step where you have to add water to it, as mentioned in the recipe below, please be careful or follow the other suggestion which I have also mentioned below.)
When to serve the flan or the crème caramel
Do not flip the flan while it is hot; the flan needs to come to room temperature and then be refrigerated. The custard has to set, and this usually takes four hours while in the fridge.
If you want the crème caramel to set faster, then place the ramekins in a larger pan and fill the pan to ¾ of the ramekins with chilled water and ice but do this only when the flan has reached room temperature first.
Other Flan and Crème Caramel recipes you will love:
Flan Crème Caramel with Saffron and Cardamom
FOR THE CARAMEL:
- ½ cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoon water
FOR THE CARAMEL
- 2 cup whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon saffron threads
- 3 whole cardamom pods crushed
- 6 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoon boiling water
TO MAKE THE CARAMEL:
- Wash and dry three ramekins large enough to take one cup and half of the liquid.
- In a saucepan, add the sugar and let it caramelize on medium-high heat.
- Do not stir the sugar, instead swirl the pan (carefully and without getting burnto help the sugar caramelize evenly.
- When the sugar turn to caramel, turn off the heat and then quickly add the water and cover the pan. (be careful here, the caramel will splatter, so you have to do this step quickly). You can instead wait until the caramel is a little cool and then add the water and bring the caramel to a boil again.
- Pour the caramel while hot in the prepared ramekins.
TO MAKE THE CRÈME:
- In a cup, add the saffron threads and the crushed cardamom. Pour three tablespoon of boiling water and cover for 10 minutes.
- In a bowl, add the eggs and vanilla. Whisk the eggs for two minutes and keep aside.
- In a saucepan, add the milk and sugar, heat the milk until it’s about to boil.
- Add the saffron and cardamom mixture to the milk.
- Turn off the heat and gradually add the milk to the egg mixture while whisking. Do not pour the milk all at once that will cook the eggs but add the milk gradually and slowly.
- Strain the crème through a strainer to help you discard the saffron, cardamom, and any pieces of cooked eggs.
- Pour the crème in the previously prepared ramekins.
- Place the ramekins in a larger baking pan and pour enough boiling water to the large baking pan to reach half the ramekins.
- Bake the crème caramel in a pre-heated oven 350F/180C for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- When the crème caramel is ready, leave it on a kitchen counter to cool completely.
- Refrigerate the crème caramel for at least 4 hours before serving, but it’s best to refrigerate overnight.
- Before serving run a knife around the edge of the ramekin and then invert the flan in a serving plate.
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