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Almodóvar and Flan

Pedro Almodóvar’s movies are always hungry for life and bursting with insatiable color. Inspired by this, and my unrealized New Year’s resolution, I asked Lauren Mary Fan for her most dogeared flan recipe for my next night in with Volver, a film of Almodóvar’s that features this perfect, yet arguably over-baked, Flan de Huevo.

Shown above: the director himself plus stills from Volver, The Human Voice, Pain and Glory, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

the recipe

Make a direct caramel in a saucepan with the sugar — the key to success with these little wonders is to make sure your caramel is thick and set. When the sugar is golden brown, add the water and the boil and heat without stirring to thread stage 223-233°F. You can check it has reached thread stage by putting a little bit of the caramel onto a spoon and dipping this into ice water, it should form fine threads. Pour about half an inch of caramel into the base of 8 dariole moulds and place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to set.

Meanwhile, to make the custard, put the milk, vanilla and half the sugar in a saucepan over a low-medium heat and start to warm through to about 140°F.

Whisk the eggs and the remaining sugar together in a separate heatproof bowl. Gradually add the warm milk to the eggs, whisking constantly, then strain the custard through a chinois (fine-mesh sieve). Cool, then refrigerate for 5 minutes!

Next, preheat the oven to 325°F and pour the custard over the caramel in the dariole moulds, leaving a 3/8 inch gap at the top. Place in a large baking tray with tall sides.

Next, fill the tray with boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the moulds to create a bain-marie. Bake for 35-40 minutes until firm but with a slight wobble in the center. Remove the dishes from the hot water and place on a wire rack to cool and then chill in the fridge overnight.

Finally, when ready to serve, dip the dariole moulds quickly into hot water, flip over onto your serving plates and enjoy!