Saturday, April 7, 2012

Salted Caramel Pear Flan

Comes together in a jiffy!!

When I lived on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, there was this little, quaint Columbian bakery on my corner that was THE PLACE to get an authentic cafe con leche and traditional Columbian desserts. This Salted Caramel Pear Flan recipe is inspired by my favorite Columbian bakery, and is fused with a traditional, Napolitano ricotta pear tart recipe that my Italian Nonna would make for the holiday every spring. JELL-O Flan mix makes it SO EASY to whip up this elegant dessert, and it comes together so quickly just on the stove top. The flan base couldn't be easier: just dump and stir. The result is super smooth, light and creamy, with pleasant, subtle notes of pear and cinnamon. With JELL-O Flan Spanish Style Custard, you can whip up a dessert that not only looks impressive, but tastes impressive!

    mash pears into caramel
  • *3 oz package of JELL-O Brand Flan, Spanish Style Custard Dessert with Caramel Sauce mix
  • *4 ripe Bosc pears
  • *2 cups of whole milk
  • *1 1/2 cups of whole milk ricotta cheese (drained)
  • *1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • *2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • * Garnish with mint sprigs (optional)

Peel and core two of the pears. Dice those two pears into 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside. The two remaining pears, slice very thin (1/8th inch), lengthwise, with a sharp knife (may use a mandoline). In a large skillet on medium heat, combine light brown sugar, heavy cream, butter, cinnamon, and salt. Stir frequently until sugar liquifies and mixture becomes creamy. Add the sliced pears to the caramel mixture and allow pears to soften in the caramel, flipping sides as needed. Remove from skillet and set aside on a plate. Next, add the diced pears to the remaining caramel mixture and mash with a potato masher. Allow the mixture to thicken and reduce by half, on medium-high heat. While mixture is reducing, open the caramel packet inside the JELL-O Flan package. and pour inside a 9-inch, round dish (3-inch height). Then, arrange the caramelized pears in a radial pattern inside the bottom of the dish. Set aside. Finally, to prepare the JELL-O Flan, add the powdered mixture and milk in a medium sauce pan, and bring to a light boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the ricotta cheese, then whisk in the reduced caramelized pear mixture. Very slowly, pour about a cup of the custard into the pear-lined dish. Then, pour in remaining custard. Do not pour too, quickly (or all at once) or the flan will get underneath the pear slices, altering the pear design once the flan is set and flipped right-side up. Place the warm flan in the refrigerator and allow to cool for 2 hours. In the same skillet that the pears were caramelized, toast the walnuts on low heat for about 5 minutes and set aside. Remove flan from the refrigerator. Place a serving dish on top of the flan dish and carefully flip onto a serving dish , so the pears are now the top of the flan. Garnish the top with toasted walnuts.

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