If you love flan, you will love this dessert. This saffron cardamom infused flan has subtle floral notes and is extremely delicious! I love to play around with different flavor profiles, especially those that I don't cook with often. I've been having some saffron in my cabinet just sitting there and then the light bulb went off! The base for this recipe comes from one of my favorite female chefs, Suzanne Goin. I loved the ease of just opening up some cans and placing the contents in the blender for a quick buzz. Believe it or not, saffron is used in a lot of desserts, not just paella. It has a subtle yet distinct flavor profile that needs to be used sparingly, especially considering the price tag.
For this desert I paired saffron, cardamom and orange to kick up a notch the delicious creamy custard. Served it alongside some candied and roasted pistachios, as well as some orange slices. The candied pistachios are an option. I was just testing out a trick I saw on Instagram, but roasted pistachios will do the trick. To supreme an orange, this link from Martha Stewart is a great guide. You will also see a picture of me torching some oranges, but again, just me having fun with some of my toys!
If you love bold flavors and want just the right amount of bold flavors in your face, then you would love this dessert. Its creamy, decadent and delicious! The slightly burnt caramel syrup spares nicely with the semi-sweet custard. Next time I will add a little dollop of whipped cream, since it is not overly sweet.
Saffron Cardamon Flan
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 12 ounce can of evaporated milk
- a pinch of saffron
- 3 cardamom pods or 1/4 teaspoon cardamom ground
- 1 14 ounce can of condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 cup toasted pistachios, chopped
- 1 orange supreme
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Gather eight ramekins and place aside. In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together the sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat without stirring. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the sugar caramelizes and becomes deep golden brown. Pour about 1 1/2 teaspoon of caramel into each of the ramekins. Swirl them around to make sure to evenly coat the bottom.
Pour the evaporated milk into a small pot over medium high heat. Add the saffron and cardamom pods. You want to bring the temperature up, but not to a boil. Cover and let steep for 5-8 minutes. Strain and let cool.
Pour the condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract and eggs into a blender and mix at high speed for a few seconds until everything is incorporated. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a bowl. Stir in the orange zest and then pour into the prepared ramekins and fill each one just below the rim. Place ramekins into a large roasting pan and pour hot water into the pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover whole pan with foil and place into the oven. Bake for 1 hour until set. Remove from the oven, uncover and let cool in the water bath for 15 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Run knife around the edges and turn each custard onto a plate. Serve with toasted pistachios and orange supreme.