A few years ago while still attending New York University, my daughter decided to walk to DUMBO from her dorm to go to Jacques Torres Chocolate Shop . (DUMBO, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is a neighborhood in the New York City, New York, borough of Brooklyn.) Fortunately for me the man himself was at the store. And so she talked to him and mentioned that I am big fan of him. She got his book where he signed, ‘ To Evelyn , eat dessert first’. Jacques Torres.
It’s funny because that’s what I always wanted to do on every meal. And that’s exactly what you would want to do with this Lavender Flan!
I decided to prepare a lavender dinner for my husband’s youngest sister, Mel who visited us recently from Las Vegas with her life long friend and our good friend too, Florence from San Diego. Actually both of them as young college students were in a group who sang at our wedding 35 years ago.
Appetizer. Goat cheese rolled in lavender and crushed walnuts drizzled with raw honey. Served with crackers.
Salad of romaine lettuce, originally planned with lavender vinaigrette but decided that it might overwhelm them and ruin their taste for the main dish so I just decided to use a simple white balsamic with a rather good extra virgin olive oil.
Main dish. Broiled Short lamb chops season with Herbes de Provence with a side of sautéed garden fresh yard long beans and okra with slivers of almonds. I purchased this really good rosemary olive bread and everyone enjoyed dipping in olive oil and my balsamic reduction. I usually refer to this as liquid calories.
Finale. Lavender Flan. I adapted the recipe from Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America. But instead of butter, I decided to use a little caramelized sugar, just like the way we do with the Philippine flan we call, leche flan.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 t dried lavender which I decided to grind instead of chopped as instructed.
- 3 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
- strawberry or mint to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 325˚.
- In a small saucepan, caramelized 1/4 cup of sugar. Put 1 tsp of the caramelized sugar on the bottom of 6 4-oz ramekins.
- Bring a kettle of water to boil.
- In another pan, mix the milk, sugar and lavender. Bring to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and steep for at least 30 minutes.
- In a bowl beat the eggs and yolks. When the milk mixture has completely cooled, add it to the eggs and beat lightly . Do not over beat.
- Using a very fine-mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a clean container.
- Carefully ladle into the 6 ramekins, about three-fourths full.
- In a deep baking pan lined with kitchen towel, arrange the ramekins, add boiling water to come halfway of the ramekins.
- Bake until the edges have set, the center slightly jiggle, about 20-25 minutes.
- Remove the ramekins from the water bath. Let them cool for 30 minutes.
- Wrap each ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days before serving.
- To unmold, run a sharp knife around the edges of each cup. Turn the flan out onto individual dessert plates.