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El Alma Almond Flan

El Alma

From: Chef Alma Alcocer, El Alma Restaurante, Austin, TX. Yield: 6 to 8 servings. Chef Alma Alcocer created this recipe at the request of a lactose-intolerant friend. It’s a dairy-free version of her traditional flan recipe.



1 cup granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. light corn syrup

3 Tbsp. water

2 cups almond milk
1 cup soy cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier
zest of 1 orange, finely chopped
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Preheat oven to 350°F. Set six 6-oz. ramekins in a baking dish and spray with nonstick spray. Set on top of a baking sheet.

Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a nonstick sauce pan. Stir until mixed. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until caramel is a rich amber color, about 12 to 14 minutes. Pour some of the caramel into the ramekins, working quickly so caramel does not solidify. Set aside. This will keep up to 2 days, covered, at room temperature.

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine almond milk, vanilla extract, almond extract and Grand Marnier. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat and let cool until just warm.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and zest until light yellow. Add soy cream cheese and whisk in until smooth. While whisking, add warm almond milk mix until it’s well-incorporated. Pour into a pitcher with a spout. Pour the custard into the ramekins until very full (they will cook down). Top with toasted almonds.

Place baking sheet with baking pan and ramekins in center of oven and add hot tap water to baking pan to cover two-thirds of the way up the sides of the cups.

Cover baking pan tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Check, and rotate the pan. Custard should be set but still jiggly, like gelatin. (May require 35 to 45 minutes). Remove baked custard from hot water and place on a cooling rack. When completely cool, refrigerate 4 to 5 hours or overnight before serving. To serve: Insert a paring knife around the edge and invert onto a plate, shaking gently to release the custard.

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