Ever since returning from Puerto Rico this summer I have had an insistent craving for coconut. I blame this coconut craze on my new friend the Pina Colada. I know what you’re thinking… Pina colada? Eww. (I hear the judgment in your voice.) But what can I say? The pina colada has been the official drink of Puerto Rico since 1978 and my vacation would not have been complete without enjoying one or two or five. I am now a converted and faithful enthusiast of the pina colada. The amber rum with undertones of caramel, the creamy amalgamation of coconut and sweet pineapples, blending into an icy creation much greater than the sum of its parts. It is an unmistakable and completely satisfying flavor.
I was so in love that by the time I got back to Los Angeles all I could think of was coconuts, or pineapples, or both. Soon the delicious drink alone could not satisfy my thirst. R and I made coconut ice cream. We made toasted coconut milkshakes. Still, I needed more.
I found my cure – coconut flan. It is so delicate and velvety, floating as it does on top of a shallow pool of caramel, so light it almost collapses when touched by a spoon. The coconut flan I made was perfectly indulgent and perfectly reminiscent of the pina colada. This was precisely the flavor and texture I’d been dreaming of all along, somewhere in between a drink and a cake.
Coconut flan is so simple to make. In a couple of hours the dessert is chilled and ready to eat.
The recipe I use is from Gourmet. The Gourmet recipe calls for the use of sweetened coconut flakes. I tried this and did not enjoy the bite of the flakes against the silkiness of the flan.
Place coconut flakes in a pan over med. heat until golden brown and fragrant.
I made the coconut flan again, but this time I substituted coconut milk for coconut flakes. The rich coconut flavor is still present and pronounced. I still use coconut flakes, toasted and sprinkled on top of the flan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together milk an coconut milk.
ass=”MsoNormal” style=”text-align: center;”>Add sweetened condensed milk.
Continue to whisk togther ingredients.
Add egg and continue whisking until ingredients are blended together.
Ron del Barrillito three star rum found only in Puerto Rico.
Add a teaspoon of rum for added flavor. Whisk together then set aside.
Add water and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
Continue to boil until it reaches a dark amber color.
Once caramel is a dark amber, remove from heat and pour into ramekins.
Swirl the caramel into the ramekins until the bottom is completely coated.
Swirl quickly as caramel sets fast!
Pour the flan mixture over the coated caramel.
Set filled ramekins in a cookie sheet water bath.
Bake flan for about an hour. When done remove from oven and set until cool.
Transfer cooled flans to the refrigerator to set for another 30 minutes.
Flan is then ready to serve. Run a knife around the edge and plate.
So simple, so delicious, the flavors will linger luxuriously on your tongue. After you make coconut flan you are sure to be coconut crazed like me!