Flan, Crème Caramel, Crema Caramella or Crème Renversée Recipe

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Whether you call it flan, crème caramel, crema caramella or crème renversée, this creamy, custard dessert is a treat for family and guests.

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Flan Flan, Crème Caramel, Crema Caramella or Crème Renversée Recipe
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium pan, bring sugar, water, corn syrup and lemon juice to a simmer, without stirring, over medium-high heat. Wipe any sugar crystals off the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush because they can cause the syrup to be grainy. Continue to cook until the syrup turns from clear to golden, swirling the pan continuously for even browning until large, slow bubbles on the surface turn honey-caramel in color.
  2. Remove the pan immediately from the heat, and working quickly (and carefully - it's very hot!), pour a portion of the caramel into each of 8 ungreased 6-ounce ramekins. Allow the caramel to cool and harden, about 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (make sure rack is in the middle).
  4. Heat milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steam appears - usually 6-8 minutes- remove from heat.
  5. Meanwhile, gently whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a large bowl until just combined.
  6. Off the heat, gently whisk the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture, adding vanilla and salt.
  7. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh cloth into a large measuring cup or a bowl with a pouring spout. Set aside.
  8. Place the ramekins in a large baking dish or roasting pan and divide and pour the custard mixture evenly into them.
  9. Fill the pan with about two cups of boiling water so that it reaches about half way up the sides of the ramekins. At this point you can cover the pans loosely with aluminum foil, allowing the steam to escape.
  10. Bake until a paring knife inserted halfway between the center and edge of the custards comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  11. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
  12. To unmold, slide a paring knife around the perimeter of each ramekin. Holding a serving plate over the top of the ramekin, invert and set on the work surface. Gently shake the ramekin to release the custard.
Recipe Notes

The room-temp, finished, baked flan can be chilled in the fridge (loosely covered with plastic wrap) for up to 2 days.

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Lemon Mousseline Dessert

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This lighter-than-air whipped lemon mousseline is fast and easy and very impressive. Mix some lemon zest and juice, some sweetened, condensed milk and some whipped cream; you'll have a wonderful, quite French dessert.

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Dessert, Lemon Mousseline Whipped Cream Recipe
Cuisine French
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 1-24 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Cuisine French
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 1-24 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine lemon zest, juice and condensed milk in bowl and mix well. The mixture will thicken.
  2. Stir in Grand Marnier.
  3. Whip the cream in a separate bowl to a soft peak. Do not overwhip.
  4. Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 24 hours.
  5. Serve with sugar cookies crumbled either in the bottom of the bowl or on top.
  6. Sprinkle with thin lemon-rind strips if desired.
Recipe Notes

The zest of one lemon is about a tablespoon.

You can omit the Grand Marnier.

Instead of the zest of two lemons, try using the zest of one lime and one lemon for a more tropical flavor.

I like Vienna Fingers cookies with this.

This makes an excellent trifle layer, too.

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Blue Cheese Sablés (French Butter Cookies) Recipe

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A tangy variation on the plain sablés, or French butter cookies. Adding blue cheese enhances the melt-in-your-mouth quality of these delicate little cookies. They are great for the holidays, they go wonderfully with tea and coffee, and you can keep some dough in the freezer ready to bake for last-minute sweets.

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Cookies, Blue Cheese Sablés (French Butter Cookies) Recipe
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat butter and cheese until completely blended, about 1 minute.
  2. Add sugar and salt and beat just until they are well mixed and creamy, about one minute longer. Do not overbeat.
  3. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating each just until completely mixed in. Stop beating once you have a cohesive batter.
  4. Stir in flour with a rubber spatula, stirring just until there is no dry flour left. The dough should be sandy but form a ball when pressed.
  5. Roll into a 2-inch thick log, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerator for 4 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the log into 1/2-inch slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake until the edges are light brown, about 18 minutes.
Recipe Notes

I recommend St. Agur or any double-cream blue cheese.

Do not overwork this dough. The less handling, the better.

This dough MUST rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before baking. Because there is no leavening, the butter is the rising agent. Therefore, the butter must be very chilled before they go into the oven.

Keep some of this dough in the freezer for last-minute gifts or unexpected guests.

It's traditional to stamp each dough slice before baking with a cookie stamp. This step is optional, but it's very charming in the end result.

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Sablés de Paris (French Butter Cookies) Recipe

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Light, delicate French butter cookies. Very easy to make and quick to bake. They almost melt in your mouth. Perfect for tea and coffee or holiday cookie plates.

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Cookies, Sablés de Paris (French Butter Cookies) Recipe
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8-10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
dozen cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8-10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
dozen cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift together sugar, salt and flour.
  3. Mix in butter and rub butter with fingers into flour until mixture is crumbly.
  4. Stir in the egg yolk(s) and vanilla.
  5. Form dough into two logs about 2 inches in diameter. If dough does not come together, add water one tablespoon at a time until it just forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
  6. Cut the logs into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Optionally, stamp each slice with a cookie stamp.
  7. Place slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until very lightly browned around the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Roll the logs in sugar before slicing to get a crispy, sweet outer rim.

There are many variations of this recipe, including blue cheese and ginger/cardamom flavors. Check my blog post to see how to do them.

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Tarragon Salad with Blue Cheese and Pears Recipe

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A salad based on one I had at Goldmarie restaurant in Munich. The recipe seems French, however, because of the French lettuce and French cheese. It's a perfect accompaniment to rich mains like steak and lobster.

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Salad, Tarragon with Blue Cheese and Pears Recipe
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine French
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine French
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry the frisee, tarragon and pear.
  2. Gently separate 4 equal portions of frisee from the head and place in 4 individual serving bowls.
  3. Remove 10 to 12 tarragon leaves from stem and arrange on top of each serving of frisee.
  4. Whisk honey, vinegar and oil together for dressing. Drizzle about 2 teaspoons of it over each salad.
  5. Slice the St. Agur into four quarter-inch slices. Place one slice on top of each salad.
  6. Thinly slice the pear and arrange 1/4 of it around each bowl.
  7. Toast the nuts in a dry skillet. Chop and sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of them over each salad.
  8. Top each bowl with a small handful of sprouts. Serve chilled.
Recipe Notes

Substitute any sort of fancy lettuce for the frisee; cut broad leaves into thin slices.

St. Agur is really the best cheese to use for this; however, any buttery, double-cream blue cheese will do nicely as well. Do not use overly tangy, drier blue cheese.

This salad is perfect for a rich protein such as steak or lobster.

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Green Beans with Sauteed Radishes and Pine Nuts Recipe

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A simple vegetable side dish using fresh summer green beans and radishes plus the earthy tone of pine nuts. Makes a wonderful, light side for steak, chicken or pork, especially grilled proteins.

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Green Beans with Sauteed Radishes and Pine Nuts Recipe
Course Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat and add pine nuts in a single layer. Let nuts brown on one side, about 30 seconds or so. Shake the pan and brown them on the other side. Tend them carefully; they burn before you know it. Transfer them to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Blanch the green beans in salted water. Dry them with paper towels. Set aside.
  3. Warm the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Saute the radishes, cut side down, for 2 minutes. Shake the pan and continue cooking, shaking the pan occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  4. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring, until the liquid is evaporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  5. Season the radishes with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Set them aside for now.
  6. Return the pan to medium heat and add the butter. Cook, swirling the pan until the butter begins to brown and has a nutty aroma, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the onions, mustard and herbs. Stir until onions soften, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the green beans and radishes and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the beans are warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

This recipe works well with asparagus, too.

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