Creamy Lavender Flan

Adapted from aspicyperspective.com – Sommer

A classic ultra-creamy lavender flan recipe bursting with aromatic flavor.

Yield: 6-8 servings, Serving Size: 8
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME : 60 MINUTES

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried lavender, or several fresh sprigs
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
12 ounce can evaporated milk
3 whole eggs + 3 yolks
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F. Set out 6-8 ovenproof custard cups, soup cups, or large ramekins that will hold at least 6 ounces each. Add the sugar, water and lemon juice to a sauce pan and place over medium-high heat. Allow it to come to a light boil and reduce the heat to simmer.
2. Place the evaporated milk in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the lavender to the milk and allow it to come to a simmer. Simmer the milk for one minute, then turn the heat off and let the lavender steep in the milk until ready to use.
3. Meanwhile, watch the caramel. Once the color starts to change, it goes fast. Allow it to bubble until it is a light to medium brown. Quickly pour an equal amount of liquid caramel in each cup. Be very careful—hot sugar can cause serious burns! The caramel will harden up almost instantly.
4. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the cream cheese until it’s light and fluffy. You may want to warm it in the microwave for just a few seconds to make sure it’s really soft. With the mixer still running, add one egg at a time, to allow the mixture to fluff up as much as possible. Now add the vanilla and salt. Then with the mixer continually running, slowly pour in the sweetened condensed milk and the evaporated milk with lavender. Whisk until smooth.
5. Set the custard cups in a larger baking pan, lined with a clean dish towel. Fill the pot used for the caramel with water. Bring to a boil.
6. Use a sieve to strain the lavender and any clumps out of the flan mixture. Then pour the mixture equally into each cup. Carefully fill the large pan with boiling water until it comes half way up the sides of the custard cups. Cover the whole pan loosely with foil.
7. Bake for 40-70 minutes. The cook time depends heavily on the size and depth of your custard cups. Check at 40 minutes, then add 10 minute increments until done. The flan is done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool them to room temperature, then cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve.
8. To serve: Run a paring knife around the edges of each flan cup. Cover with an inverted dessert plate and flip. Give it one good shake if necessary. The flan should come out with a light caramel sauce over the top! Serve alone or with berries.