Saturday, February 27, 2016

Crème caramel (or Caramel Flan), Pressure Cooker Style

Holy Moly! It's been one month since I've shared a recipe with y'all. Seriously? I'm alive and well, indeed. I'll explain, later on, what has keep me from blogging (beyond my full-time job, and my dislike of photographing food during dark, winter nights).  Now that the days are getting longer, again, I can start photographing more recipes to share. Yay!

I have posted quite a few pressure cooker recipes on my blog, over the last few years. I have been in-love with pressure cooking for at least fifteen years.  I still love my 8-quart, oval, electric pressure cooker but lately it is showing signs of wear and tear (the pot is made with a non-stick coating).  For the longest time, I've bookmarked this Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker.  I was lucky to get the "Black Friday" price of $78.00 and I was thrilled to buy it.  It's an understatement to say that I love it. It's small enough to earn a special spot on my limited counter space and I'm using it several times a week.

When people first buy an electric pressure cooker, one of the first things that they make are "Pressure Cooker Cheesecakes".   It makes perfect sense, since many cheese cake recipes requires for the cheesecake to be placed into a pan, with water (otherwise called a Bain-marie).  Instead of baking a cheesecake for one hour, it takes only 15 minutes!  Isn't that impressive?!

Pressure cooking is the perfect solution, since it takes as little as one cup of water to steam potatoes, cook hard boiled eggs, "bake" a cheesecake...and, now, make a Crème caramel in ten minutes!

I have finally mastered the art of making caramel when I made this fantastic Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream. . Actually it's not difficult at all to make your own caramel, and it takes just a few minutes.  There are a couple of things to remember, and your caramel will turn out perfect every time.  First, don't stir the sugar!  Just let it melt, and swirl the pan a little bit if you need to. Last, but not least, keep a very close eye on it!

You'll start to see the sugar melt, and to take on that amber color.  Watch the caramel closely, and just as all the sugar is melted-- and you see that the amber color has been reached, immediately remove it from the heat!  Of course, you want to have you custard vessels ready to go, because you will immediately pour the caramel into the dish/pan and it will harden very quickly.

I made the custard, before I made the caramel.  It's super simple, really. You need whole milk, eggs, vanilla extract and sugar.

If you don't own a pressure cooker, you can make this using a conventional oven using the directions for a Mexican Chocolate Flan that I made.  You'll need to bake the custard for 35-40 minutes.

However, with a pressure cooker, it gets faster and easier, in my honest opinion:

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