This flan is our variation of a classic Latin American dessert that is usually made with milk. Here we increase the number of eggs to thicken the custard, which offsets the extra liquid added by the luscious bubbly.
For the custard:
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs, whole
3 egg yolks
2 ½ cups Champagne
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the caramel:
1 cup white sugar
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Butter 6 small custard cups (approximately 6 ounces each) or one large dish and place in a shallow baking pan.
Heat one cup of sugar in a small pan until syrupy and golden brown in color. Pour an equal amount of syrup into each prepared custard cup.
Beat eggs, egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar in a large bowl until thick and pale. Gradually add Champagne, lemon zest, and cinnamon, and beat until combined. Pour custard mixture into prepared cups. Make a water bath by pouring enough hot water into the baking pan to come halfway up the sides of the custard cups. Bake for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in center of custard comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool completely. Carefully remove from the water bath. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or until ready to serve.
[Chef’s Note: These little custards benefit from a night in the refrigerator so that the hard caramel base can slowly dissolve into a syrup. They are a perfect dessert for dinner parties because they can be prepared in advance. After removing them from the water bath, let cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate until completely chilled before serving.]
Carefully run a knife around the sides of the custard cup, and invert flans onto individual serving dishes, letting the syrup run down sides of the custard.
Recipe and photo by Melissa De Leon Douglass