This summer has been epically life-changing. I moved back to D.C. with no planning or real thought. I gained five pounds (a lot for this super petite chica) and lost it back after an aggressive conversation with my alter ego and taking up flying trapeze, announced a new online network show I’m hosting in the realm of food, travel and entertainment and have landed 3 new lifestyle clients and one major dinner client where I get to cook and host all of her shindigs. Not to mention all of traveling to amazing places, like Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. And I’m reconnecting with old and dear friends I’ve missed over the last 7 years. Especially those that love to eat good food with me! Life is good, good. And delicious.
But all those changes means my free time to sit down and share some of these haps, new recipes, new drama in Chez Herrera and cooking experiments is rapidly dwindling and becoming more difficult. That stresses me out. The days go by and I can’t remember if I blogged, published a post or have something in draft mode. After a whirlwind trip to NY last week, I hunkered down, with no sleep and forced myself in the cocina to make a flan for #FlanFridays. I was so eager to make one and save my head the guilt of going on two months since I shared an original recipe. So, I got to working.
The star this time? Some amazing figs a lovely high school friend and number one flan fan brought me by the bucket! When I found out he has three trees in his yard and they mostly go unused, I put him on speed dial and put my request in and waited. I about rolled over and did ballet moves when he showed up sin ton ni son. Figs. About 100 of them?!?! I’m not sure what variety they are… either semi-ripened Mission or Kalamata… I was more concerned with what I was going to do with these juicy bits! I immediately ate 1/4 of them, froze about half and tried to sun dry the rest.
That process was a super fail.
With pain in my gut, I had to throw out that portion after all kinds of creatures attacked them. But hail to my friend that brought more back.
I wasted no time working with the second batch. No freezing or sun-drying. I had two ways of making this work…as I really wanted to use dehydrated figs. But I had no time. Panned the kitchen and went for the toaster oven. 11 hours in the oven or two days in the sun was not in my agenda. I mean, I use the pressure cooker for all things speedy. Toaster oven worked, thankful. I cut about 10 in half, layed them on the baking sheet and roasted them for 2o minutes. Sucked the water right out them. A new shortcut I’ll befriend.
Those bits made it into the custard. Ultimately, what I wanted was a smooth, lightly textured and semi-sweet glaze to compliment the caramel. Another simple process. I took another 10 or so, peeled them and poached them with sugar and bit of water. I toyed with adding a dash of liquor or red wine but I didn’t want to take away from the figs, especially since it was my first time infusing them into a custard. The fig pizza was a different case. Remember that pretty pie?! I had the cleanest canvas to create there and any questionables could be worked out. Not so much here. Once the flan was in the making, it was a wrap.
The final little thing was divine. Plentiful figs inside the flan to savor with every bite and just the right amount of luscious fig sauce to pair with the caramel. It was meant to be! I took one fresh fig for each flan and garnished them…the pretty factor and final touches.
The fun part about making this flan was working with a fruit that’s known in our culture but never used. Figs, or higo are not grown in Cuba nor have I ever seen them used in our food in a home or restaurant; not even the most broad Latin restaurant. Mami loved it and that’s what matters to me the most when introducing something new to our staples!
I missed sharing this last Friday but couldn’t wait until the end of this week to share, so here it is. On a Monday! It’s early, we’re all probably hungry and I see nada wrong with starting out the week with some postre!
Off to NY for Fashion Week so I’ll catch you next week!
Happy #FlanFridays on a Monday! My schedule will resume as normal next week. Stay with me 😉