Use a vanilla bean instead of extract to make the custard extra flavorful in this coffee-spiked dessert.

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Ingredients

Directions

For caramel:

  • In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, water and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the sugar forms an amber-colored caramel, stirring as needed with a wooden spoon. While the mixture cooks, use a pastry brush to brush a bit of water on the sides of the saucepan as the mixture is cooking to avoid sugar crystals from forming. Immediately divide caramelized sugar among six 6-ounce custard cups. Place custard cups in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside.

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For custard:

  • In a heavy medium saucepan, combine cream, milk, 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Scrape the vanilla bean, if using, and add seeds and bean to the cream mixture. Bring just to boiling; remove from heat. Stir in coffee or espresso and the 1 teaspoon vanilla, if using. Set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, slightly beat egg yolks and egg with a rotary beater or fork. Gradually stir about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Add egg yolk mixture to cream mixture in saucepan. Stir until well combined. Set a fine wire sieve (chinois) over a medium bowl. Strain the custard through the sieve. Place bowl in a sink of ice water, stirring occasionally, until mixture is cool (20 to 30 minutes).

  • Divide egg mixture among custard cups. Place baking dish on oven rack. Pour boiling water into the baking dish around custard cups to a depth of 1 inch. Bake in a 300 degree F. oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until custards appear nearly set when lightly shaken.

  • Remove cups from water. Cool slightly on a wire rack. (Or cool completely in cups. Cover and chill until serving time.) To unmold, loosen edges of flans with a knife, slipping point between flans and side of custard cups. Invert a dessert plate over each flan; turn plate and custard cup over together. Remove cups from flans. If you like, garnish each with orange sections and/or pomegranate seeds. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts

489 calories; 30 g total fat; 269 mg cholesterol; 102 mg sodium. 52 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein;

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