FLAN A LA ANTIGUA (old fashioned flan, for eight)
a flan mold coated with caramel (To make caramel: First heat a small heavy frying pan. Add ½ cup granulated sugar and leave it over a medium flame for a few minutes until the sugar on the bottom has melted and is transparent. Raise the flame and stir the sugar with a wooden spoon until it turns a deep brown and starts to froth up. The color will depend on how dark you like the caramel, but be careful not to let it burn too much. Pour the caramel into the flan mold and turn the mold around quickly, tipping it from side to side until there is an even coating of the caramel over the bottom and halfway up the sides of the mold.)
1 quart milk
½ cup granulated sugar
a vanilla bean or a stick of cinnamon (about 2 inches)
a pinch of salt
4 whole eggs
6 egg yolks
a fine cheesecloth or strainer
a water bath
1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Heat the milk, add the sugar, vanilla bean or cinnamon and salt and let it simmer briskly for about 15 minutes. The milk should be reduced by about ½ cup. Set aside to cool.
3. Beat the eggs and egg yolks together well. Add them to the cooled milk and stir well.
4. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the coated mold. (Rinse the vanilla bean, let it dry and store for use again).
5. Cover the mold and set it in a water bath on the lowest shelf of the oven. Cook the flan for 2 hours and test to see if it is done. When it is done, set it aside to cool.
from Diana Kennedy, The Cuisines of Mexico