Cream Cheese Flan with Quince Compote

Baking flan slowly in a water bath gives it a silky, confection-like
texture. Be sure to begin making this recipe one day ahead so it has time
to
chill overnight. For optimal flavor, remove the flan from the refrigerator
at least 20 minutes before serving to allow it to come to room
temperature.

Makes 1 (10-inch) flan to serve 8 to 10.

For quince compote
1/2 cup sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
3 large quinces (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch
cubes

For flan
1 1/2 cups sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Special equipment: 10- by 2-inch round cake pan, large roasting pan

Make compote In large saucepan over high heat, combine 4 cups water,
sugar, and cinnamon sticks, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil,
then add quince, reduce heat to moderate, and simmer, uncovered, stirring
occasionally, until tender, about 45 minutes. Refrigerate quince (in
poaching liquid) until cool. (Compote can be made up to 3 days ahead and
refrigerated.)

Make flan In large heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, stir together
1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Cook, occasionally stirring gently with
wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until sugar melts and caramel turns dark
amber. Working quickly and carefully, immediately pour hot caramel into
cake pan, tilting to cover bottom and halfway up sides of pan. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 325F. In large bowl, using electric mixer, beat together
cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth and
very creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, cream, and condensed milk and
beat until smooth, about 2 minutes more. Pour mixture into prepared cake
pan. Transfer pan to large roasting pan and fill roasting pan with
enough hot water to come halfway up sides of cake pan. Cover roasting pan
loosely with foil and pierce foil several times with fork. Transfer
roasting pan to oven and bake 1 hour. Remove foil and continue to bake
until edge of flan is set but center jiggles slightly when gently shaken,
about 1 hour more. Remove cake pan from water and cool flan in pan on
rack, then transfer to refrigerator to chill overnight. When ready to
serve, run thin knife around inside edge of pan to loosen flan. Shake pan
gently from side to side and, when flan moves freely in pan, invert large
plate over pan. Holding pan and plate securely together, quickly invert
and turn out flan onto plate. (Caramel will pour out over and around
flan.) Serve with quince compote.


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