tangelo flan brulee

March 26th, 2009 · 40 Comments

the flan was created due to sheer necessity. i had read a post over at ‘the pie lady’ and could NOT get it off my mind. like at all. like i really tried. yet it haunted me. even taunted me, until i could no longer resist the urge. but brittany’s recipe called for the wonderful and bitter seville oranges – and in nashville, that’s a tall order. but i did find a really good looking bag of organic tangelos and well, that was going to have to do.

flan is one of my favorite things. really, it’s just my obsession with all things custardy. but at least flan is just milk, sugar and eggs. there’s no cream or butter to feel all that awful guilt about. yet let me be the one to tell you that these babies still weighed in at about 500 calories a piece, easy. but in their defense, they were pretty big and therefore perfect for sharing. which is what i did. i shared. all 5 of them. yes, i got to share 5 WHOLE TIMES in just 48 hours. doesn’t that show my willingness to be abundantly generous? i freakin’ shared my flan in the name of kindness and calories. 5x. please don’t do the math. i am well aware…

so there were tons of eggs and yolks and milk and sugar and 2 vanilla beans along with the grated rind of my tangelos. and i followed the recipe and well, talk about FRETting. i was getting nervous because i couldn’t get the flan to set. so i switched to convection, upped the heat a bit and within no time flat – they were dreamy.

that right there? 2500 calories. not including the tangelos. and then? divide by 2. because i shared.

i am telling you… so damn good…

but you’re probably wondering why i bruleed my flan. which really, is a very fair thing to wonder… and honestly, it just happened. it wasn’t planned or well thought out. no dear readers, it was off the cuff and original – even spontaneous. and perhaps i also veered partially because although brittany’s flan was my inspiration for this delightful confection – i didn’t want to totally rip off a professional pastry chef who could then turn around and sue me.

unlikely? i’d say so… BUT STILL.

when the flans were unmolded there was still a fair amount of hardened caramel in the ramekins. so i popped that in the microwave for about 40 seconds until it became a viscous molten substance and quickly poured it over the flan. hot sugar really is a wonder.

and i kinda felt like i was onto something…

(grace – totally not FRETing…)

Tags: dessert · fruit

40 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Peter // Mar 26, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Sweet Jesus…food and doggy porn…doesn’t get better than this!

  • 2 heather // Mar 26, 2009 at 10:03 am

    look at you, all fancy! this looks wonderful. and the glamorous puppy shot… nice.



  • 3 Brittany // Mar 26, 2009 at 10:18 am

    They’re PERFECT. With the zest and everything…

    And now I wish I had a microwave at work so we could zap the extra hot sugar lovin to order.

    And the puppy. Oh sweet babyjesus. It’s both adorable and kind of messed up.

  • 4 Jesse // Mar 26, 2009 at 10:40 am

    If you “shared” them after midnight, the calories don’t count.

  • 5 democommie // Mar 26, 2009 at 11:32 am


    Mmmmmmmmm, flan.

    This is new math: 25oo/2 = 6 very happy people.

    I trust you’re feeling better. Grace looks like a very happy pup. Puppyporn, methinks not. Pay no attention to those other perverts!

  • 6 Lesley // Mar 26, 2009 at 11:42 am

    This looks delicious and gorgeous. When you’ve recovered, you should try the custard/flan at Chachah. There’s enough to share!

  • 7 Brooke // Mar 26, 2009 at 11:53 am

    This was one of my favorite Brittany desserts ever. I had it twice at her restaurant and wanted more. This version looks gorgeous with the bruleed rind on top. YUM.

    I love the indecent puppy shot. Too cute.

  • 8 The Italian Dish // Mar 26, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Good God, Woman! Your photos are freaking great! I was literally drooling. Gak. Thank you for the wonderful photo of little Gracie. What a doll.

  • 9 Jennifer Hess // Mar 26, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    O. M. G. Okay, I suspect that tangelos would give me some sorta nasty rash like oranges and the like, but I want that flan. So gorgeous.

    And Grace. Beautiful Grace. She is KILLING ME.

    Yeah, we need to get down there for a visit.

  • 10 Rachel (S[d]OC) // Mar 26, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Yummy. I can see all of those vanilla bean flecks. I love tangelos, so I certainly don’t mind the substitution.

    You’re brave to count the calories. I never want to know information like that!

  • 11 we are never full // Mar 26, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    lol peter…doggy porn.

    i agree. but it’s SOOO cute. see, you can’t put grace in your food posts. you just can’t. i end up forgetting about the freaking food! although this one is a toss up…

  • 12 amy // Mar 26, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    All I can say is: yum yum yum

  • 13 The Culinary Sherpas // Mar 27, 2009 at 6:12 am

    Oh, Grace. She’s a classy girl, like our departed Pandora. A real lady.
    How wonderful it must be to have such little care that one can take a nap, spread eagle.

    LOVE the flan. xxoo

  • 14 Chris // Mar 27, 2009 at 7:19 am

    The pics are as beautiful as the flan was tasty.

  • 15 Melissa // Mar 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    You actually just made me want to give flan another chance. But you have to come make me this one, okay? 😉

    And I love her little doggy belly. Perfect.

  • 16 Kristie // Mar 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    That puppy is hilarious and freakin’ adorable. Your flan; also adorable. I love custard more than just about anything else. Not savory, but sweet.

  • 17 Pam // Mar 27, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    I probably wouldn’t have shared.

    Does your puppy know you are sending these kind of pictures out over the net??? These could come back to haunt her one day.

  • 18 maris // Mar 27, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Nice!I I love the idea of flan brulee! I’m more of a chocolate dessert kinda gal but this looks perfect for company.

  • 19 JimR // Mar 27, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Sign me up. Please? Because I love flan and I love orange and caramel. And the brulee thing is genius!

    I could eat 5 of these easily and not share at all.

  • 20 Cindy in DC // Mar 27, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Hi. I’m new over here. 500 calories? That hurts. But I also love flan. Love it to death. Maybe death isn’t the best analogy. Anyway, great blog. I’m your newest devoted reader. Nice to meet you!

  • 21 stephanie // Mar 28, 2009 at 2:47 am

    seriously, i read your blog all the time but NEVER post. however, the puppy shot sends me…i have a 2-year old jack russell, and to this day, this is his FAVORITE pose. henri and your sweet precious would get along famously! the flan looks kick-ass too.

  • 22 Heidi Robb // Mar 28, 2009 at 7:03 am

    I wanna eat that flan and scratch that belly.

  • 23 Donald // Mar 28, 2009 at 7:06 am


    Just wait til Beck sees this post!

    There’s no way I’d share. These look wonderful!

  • 24 Peter // Mar 28, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Your dog will never be able to run for office. “I was young, and I needed the money” just doesn’t apply.

  • 25 Maggie // Mar 28, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Yum and delicious.

  • 26 Lisa // Mar 28, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I really like Spanish food and I have always wanted to make flan and to like flan but I have never managed much enthusiasm. Here I think you may have introduced the secret – hot sugar. With a touch of crispness flan might find it’s way into my heart. Besides, this is undeniably beautiful!

  • 27 Lauren // Mar 28, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    that flan looks absolutely gorgeous. grace’s money shot is a bit less appetizing.

  • 28 chefectomy // Mar 28, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    That looks delicious (I mean the flan Claudia)…I think the dog needs a thong.

  • 29 rachel // Mar 29, 2009 at 6:14 am

    loved the comments on this nearly as much as the post itself…..I said nearly. Peter and chefectomy made me spray laugh coffee directly on the screen.
    Oh my, a vanilla speckled, slightly wibbly custardly brulee in a pool of caramel – lurvely.
    I am honoured by the way (with a capital H).
    Bottarga for ever I say xx

  • 30 Leigh // Mar 29, 2009 at 8:24 am

    This was a fun read. But i too am diet obsessed. What can i say? Flan is god’s gift. Is creme caramel the same thing? I need to check into this. So many questions, so little time. Heheheh.

  • 31 corrine (finally!) // Mar 29, 2009 at 8:36 am

    to leigh. i think they are the exact same thing.

    to cook eat FRET. hi. first time commenter here, but i’ve been a dedicated reader for about a year. thought i’d finally send you a cyber high-five because i also love flan. we make it all the time. i wonder what the italian version is called? so there’s a question for you!

    ps – i rarely use caps either.

  • 32 ED // Mar 29, 2009 at 9:16 am

    NOW THAT is a very cute puppy.

    Still, the flan sounds like perfection and I may have to make it. Orange… mmmm.

  • 33 Robert, // Mar 29, 2009 at 11:49 am

    We have a comment here in Florida about people that eat sour oranges……

  • 34 alec // Mar 29, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    looks like a winner! lovely photos, too!

  • 35 Shannon (The Daily Balance) // Mar 30, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    this looks absolutely delish!

    I just found your blog and I’m so happy I did!

    I recent;y started one of my own — you should check it out!

  • 36 lo // Mar 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Mmm. Bruleed flan.
    And tangelo flavored, at that.

    I am… YUMMED.

  • 37 Traci @ Soup of The Day // Mar 30, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    That is by far the best looking flan I have ever seen. Seriously.

    And your dog is deliciously cute.

    And it’s ramp season. You got me hooked. I have some more on the way as we speak, courtesy of Ohio dude.

  • 38 Hillary // Mar 31, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I love anything bruleed! Very nice dessert.

  • 39 TaratheFoodie // Apr 13, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Now that’s what I call a MONEY SHOT! haha… oh and the flan looks spectacular.

  • 40 Bren // Apr 16, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    gf, i told you flan was the best ever… funny i just saw this post. i just twittered asking for new flavors to add to my 40 existing list!

    let’s not talk about torching flan… los cubanos te dijieran algo de’so!

    looks sexy.

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