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This recipe is for a version of the classic Spanish dessert that is Sephardic Jewish and served at my local Italian restaurant.
- In a small, heavy saucepan, melt 1/2 cup of the sugar with the water over high heat. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is a caramel color and is fragrant. Do not let it get too dark or it will taste bitter.
- Very carefully pour the caramel into the bottom of a 1 qt flan mold or 6 caramel cups. Swirl quickly to coat the bottoms and sides.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place almonds into a food processor with 1/4 cup of the remaining sugar and process until finely ground. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining sugar. Add the orange juice, zest almonds and mix well.
- Pour the mixture in to your prepared baking mold or cups and place into a larger baking pan. Add hot water to the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the mold or cups. Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil.
- Bake until a knife inserted into the center emerges clean, 35-40 minutes for the custard cups and 1 hour for the mold. Remove from the oven, then remove from the baking pan. Let cool a bit then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled.
- To serve, run a thin knife around each flan and invert onto individual plates or one large plate. Spoon the caramel that flows onto the plates over the top. Garnish with orange segments.