Ah, how I adore flan! There is something amazing about the combination of something creamy and caramel! I remember staying up late one night in Mexico in one of the host homes I stayed in and chatting with the house cook, Lucina as she waited for the flan to be done in the oven. She took great care to prepare breakfasts, lunches and dinners that were first class! Every Sunday she would prepare lunch and dessert for more than 40 people! It was amazing. I will never forget her dedication in the kitchen, love of good ingredients and love of food!
So, in honor of Lucina, I created this healthier version of flan using coconut milk and honey. I am so pleased at how it turned out! It is heavenly and can be enjoyed knowing that it doesn't have any refined sugars. I hope that you enjoy this special flan with your friends and family soon.
Paleo Flan with Honey Caramel:
Adapted from a recipe from The Art of Mexican Cooking by Diana Kennedy
Makes 4 small servings (You may double this recipe for a larger flan to serve 8)
1/4 cup honey + 2 tablespoons
1/4 cup full fat canned coconut milk (not light)
2 cups canned full fat coconut milk (not light)
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
3 egg yolks
rimmed baking sheet for a water bath
large bundt pan
1. To make the caramel, place the honey and coconut milk in a small frying pan over medium heat. Stir with a rubber spatula as it cooks. It will bubble and thicken. Thicken it to a light sauce texture and take it off the heat when it is caramel in color and thickened. If the caramel is too thin, add a bit more honey, if it is too thick, add a bit more coconut milk. Pour the caramel into the large bundt pan and swirl it around so it covers the bottom and sides.
2. Heat the oven to 325. Make sure there is a rack on the lowest rung of the oven.
3. In a large, heavy saucepan add in the coconut milk, salt, and honey. Bring the mixture slowly to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and honey. Continue to boil slowly, making sure that the mixture doesn't boil over. You want to reduce the mixture by 1/3 cup. Once the mixture is reduced, take it off the heat and let it cool for 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and egg yolks together in a bowl. Once the coconut milk mixture is cooled, place a fine mesh strainer over the saucepan, pour the egg mixture into the strainer and let the eggs strain through into the coconut milk mixture. Use a rubber spatula to make sure all of the egg mixture strains in. Whisk the egg/milk mixture lightly before adding it to the bundt pan.
5. Place the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack in the oven. Place the bundt pan on it with the flan mixture in it. Then, pour boiling water into the rimmed baking sheet to about 1/4-1/2 inch.
6. Bake at 325 F for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The flan will be set and will be browned on top. Refrigerate until cool, then unmold onto a plate.