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Caramel custard is one of the easiest dessert recipes and one I love to make. But recently I thought why not give this recipe a little twist to make it more interesting?

It’s not that anyone was complaining but my obsessive need to experiment with flavours got the better of me. So I flipped through the pages of a lovely recipe book about Spanish cuisine titled 1080 Recipes by Simone and Ines Ortega, gifted to me by my best friend Shweta. Among the recipes was what I was looking for – Flan de Naranja or traditional Spanish flan.

Real Reviews: 1080 Recipes by Simone and Ines Ortega (Publisher: Phaidon)

This recipe gives that little twist in the tale of the humble caramel custard. Cooking it was fun and my favourite part of the process was the aroma of orange that filled the air while the custard was still cooking. Try and imagine what orangey caramel tastes like – it is mind-blowing. I love this recipe for its citrusy zing, and the simplicity of the ingredients and technique.

The best part about this dessert is that it can be made a day ahead of the dinner party you’re planning. This way you don’t have to worry about dessert while entertaining friends and can focus on starters and the main course. This dish tastes best when served cold.

Note: While I’ve been inspired by the recipe from the book, I’ve made some modifications. I’ve added two tablespoons of plain flour in the process of cooking the custard to ensure it sets well. Also, I have added a bit of lemon juice to the orange juice to enhance the flavour of the oranges and increase the custard’s citrusy punch.

Ingredients

For the caramel:

Sugar – ½ cup
Orange juice – 1/4th + 1/8th cup

For the custard:

Egg yolks – 3
Egg – 1
Hot milk (not boiling) – 2 cups
Plain flour – 2 Tbsp (you can also use 1 cup of milk + 1 cup of cream)
Citrus juice – 3/4th cup (2/4th cup of orange juice + 1/4th cup lemon juice) *
Citrus zest (orange + 1 small lemon) – 1 Tbsp + 1tbsp sugar both minced together
Sugar – 1/4th cup

*You can also use only fresh orange juice that has been sieved or canned orange juice. If using the latter, please adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe accordingly.

Real Reviews - Recipe: Flan de Naranja Or Caramel Custard With A Spanish, Citrusy Twist

Instructions

For the caramel:

1. Mix the sugar and orange juice. Ensure that the juice is enough to moisten every bit of the sugar completely.

2. Heat this mixture on a medium flame till it turns golden brown. This usually takes around 8-10 minutes.

3. Immediately spoon it into the custard cups and swirl around to coat all over. If it solidifies before swirling, don’t worry. The mixture will melt and spread when the custard is poured into the cups.

For the custard:

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade.

2. Heat two cups of milk (close to boiling point) with the plain flour. The plain flour is added to help the custard set well and also prevent it from curdling which may happen due to the citrus juices which will be added to the milk later.

If you’re using the cream, first heat the milk till it becomes hot but not boiling. Then add the cream (preferably Amul) to it. Heat it over a low flame for two more minutes. The cream is added later because over-heating the cream turns it into butter.

3. In a separate pan, whisk the egg yolks, one egg and the sugar. Then add around 1/4cup of hot milk to the egg mixture and whisk quickly to mix the eggs and hot milk mixture well. The whisking needs to be quick, otherwise the eggs will get cooked in the hot milk. Again add a little bit more of hot milk to this mixture and whisk it well. Then add this mixture to the hot milk mixture, whisking continuously.

4. In the final step, add orange juice and orange zest in the egg and milk mixture. Mix well and pour into a 9” baking pan or six ramekins. Put it in the water bath for 55 minutes. Ensure that the dish is covered with water up to 3/4th of the height.

5. When the custard is cooked, it will be light-brown on top and jiggly at the centre.

And voila! There you have it – a delicious custard with that perfect golden top and a mouthful of surprise that is guaranteed to leave your guests begging you for this recipe!

Real Reviews - Recipe: Flan de Naranja Or Caramel Custard With A Spanish, Citrusy Twist

Do let me know if you try out this recipe. If you have any questions, please leave a message in the Comments section and I’ll get back to you!

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