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:
I used this pan and covered it with foil.  I poured one cup of water into the pressure cooker pot, and added the trivet (the handled trivet comes with this pressure cooker).  I was able to easily lower the flan into the pot, locked the lid on, programmed pressure cooker for ten minutes. Once the PC beeped, I did a natural pressure release (simply put, didn't touch the pressure cooker for ten minutes).

I knew this had cooked properly, because the custard was set, but slightly jiggled.  I had leftover custard, so I filled one ramekin.

I covered this one with foil, and pressure cooked it on HIGH for 6 minutes.

It jiggled, but was set.  Now, the hardest part begins. Waiting.  I let my custard cool for about an hour, then covered them with plastic wrap and refrigerated them for three hours.

To serve the flan, I like to set the ramekins (or pan) into hot water for 30 seconds to one minute. I use a paring knife around the rim of the dish (or pan) to loosen it up. Then, I set a plate on top and take a deep breath. Flip it!  I could hear a gentle "whoosh" as my larger flan slipped right out.
I cannot begin to express just how much I love Flan (or Crème caramel).  It's one of my favorite desserts, because it's light and I love the flavor of caramel.

TASTING NOTES:  I adapted this recipe, a teeny tiny bit, from Hip Pressure Cooking.  I didn't use a vanilla bean, so I didn't have to heat up the milk and cool it. I just used a pure vanilla extract and simply whisked the custard.   That lonely little Crème caramel that I made... it was mine.  I enjoyed every single bite.  If you don't own a pressure cooker, I hope you seriously consider buying one.  My general rule of thumb to adapting recipes from conventional cooking to pressure cooking-- pressure cook for about 1/3 of the time as a conventional recipes says.  There are so many resources to find pressure cooking recipes, and once you get hooked-- you will wonder what took you so long.  Oh, I've said this at least 1000 times-- today's pressure cookers do not explode!  There, I said it for the 1001th  time!

Here is the printable recipe.  NOTE: I store all of my recipes on Key Ingredient. Unfortunately, they have recently reverted back to requiring a free membership to log in and view my recipes. I'm hoping that they'll change their mind, but in the meantime, I'll post a second site that doesn't require a membership. If you have any problems printing the recipe, please write to me

One last note: Another reason I haven't been posting for weeks, is that I've been cooking from "Blue Apron".  I'm not sponsored by them. I'm a customer.  With my busy work schedule, I'm liking have a box of ingredients for three full meals (servings of two) made with healthy ingredients. As a result, I'm losing weight, feeling less stressed and I've actually learned to like red beets!  I'll be sharing some of the recipes, since they publish them for anyone to make.

Pin It


Ciao Chow Linda said...

Creme caramel is one of my favorites and your version looks so delicious. But I still don't have a pressure cooker. I would like to get one, but I first have to clear away some other things from my jammed kitchen cabinets.

Tina Thorn said...

confused about your recipe on Key Ingredient. You said to set to manual for 6 min then NPR for 10 minutes. But then say " Allow the flan/creme caramel to cook for one hour. " is it a type? does cook = cool?

Debby Foodiewife said...

Tina, thank you. "cool" not COOK! I fixed my recipe card. Thank you for pointing out my typo.

Big Dude said...

Looks perfect for the dessert lovers in the family.

TerWoodall said...

I looked at the recipe, and sugar is not listed as an ingredient in the flan part of the recipe. How much is used? This looks delicious!

Debby Foodiewife said...

Ooops! THank you so much for letting me know. I fixed the recipe card. 2/3 cup sugar (125grams)

Lori Stilger said...

I SO want an InstantPot, too - the exact one you've got your eye on! :) Before I knew about it, my husband got me a Cuisinart pressure cooker. I like it, but I REALLY want to do yogurt! :D