Puerto Rican Caramel Flan Cheesecake
From what I have read Flan was created in ancient Rome when eggs were combined with honey to make custards. This basic recipe was brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers and overtime became the classic Puerto Rican egg custard dessert made with a milk and egg base. Traditionally, the custard is poured over a caramelized sugar base, and baked in a water bath. When it has cooled sufficiently it is flipped upside down to reveal a beautiful caramel topping.
This Flan has a unique twist, originating in the town of Mayagüez on the western coast of Puerto Rico. It evolved using locally available ingredients sugar, eggs, coconut milk and a cream cheese. So, it is a cross between flan and cheesecake.
EQUIPMENT: 10½inch Gourmet Skillet, Wooden Spoon, Leak-Proof Spring-Form Pan, 5qt Mixing Bowl, Whisk, Baking “Lasagna” Pan
PREPARATION: 1 hour 20 minutes – makes 10 to 12 serving
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 can 8½ ounces Coco Lopez
- 1 can 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 can 14 ounce sweetened condensed milk.
- 2 packages 16 ounces cream cheese or homemade mascarpone cheese see recipe
- Mint leaves and Raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Fill the baking pan halfway with hot water and place it on the center rack in the oven.
Dry caramelize the sugar in the gourmet skillet over medium-high heat 340°F (170°C) until it liquefies, then caramelizes. The sugar is able to liquefy due to its high-water content. As the sugar is heated the water is released. This method is most often used by candy makers and is faster than wet caramelization. Coat the inside of the spring form pan with the caramelized sugar and set aside.
Whisk the eggs to a froth, add the remaining ingredients, and whisk vigorously to combine, but do not overbeat the mixture. Pour flan mixture into leak proof spring form pan. Note: be sure your spring-form pan is 100% leak proof, if not in case bottom and sides in Saran wrap and tin foil. Place the spring-form pan with the flan mixture into the baking pan with hot water and bake for 1 hour. Test with a butter knife if the knife pulls clean the flan is cooked.
Remove the flan from the oven and set aside to cool, for about 30 minutes. Then place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
To serve, using a thin sharp knife run it around the flan to loosen it from the pan. Invert a serving platter over the spring-form pan and release latch. Invert the pan and platter and center the flan on the platter.
To serve, garnish with fresh mint leaves, top with raspberries and serve.