I made my first creme caramel which was somewhat daunting due to the dozen eggs it required. However, it was pretty straight forward.
I then went to flans and started testing different versions. As I understand it, the creme caramel is american and the flan is the spanish version of it.
I made two versions, one a red yam flan and the other was basically the same except I used a pumpkin custard. I also used my caramel sauce recipe instead of the typical caramel recipe you see.
My best friend, Tim O'Leary, tested each and every one and gave a thumbs up to the red yam and pumpkin versions. He said they work well for special occasions like Thanksgiving. However, he did not like the creme caramel. He said he did not trust something that shiny, even a bit slimy and didn't know whether something that jiggled when you touched it should be eaten or whether he should go get his shotgun and shoot it. He thought it might be alive because it moved all the time. He also thought it was too eggy and that the caramel was too thin and not that tasty. He also felt it was not
cost effective with so many eggs. The hens had to work overtime and thus the feed bill was up, utility costs such as extra lighting for the extended work day was up, etc etc.
I told Tim that I was following the current rage of developing 17 layers of taste. Tim said that he generally could only discern one taste at a time,
sometimes two and only rarely... 3 layers of taste. He said that those who claimed they had taste buds that could detect 17 layers of taste were self anointed pompis food experts. Realizing that he did not know
how to spell pompis he changed his comment to say that these self anointed food experts were more than likely direct decendents of those who lived in pompay. Not being a spelling bee expert myself I took the comment at face value and let it stand.
I next made a version by Tyler Florence that used condensed milk and limes. This looked like it was going to be close to a key lime pie. Tim thought it was ok but suggested I try something I thought might be better
So I used a standard flan recipe, substituted my caramel recipe and added toffe as the major flavoring. Tim gave a thumbs up on this one.
Unfortunately, Tim passed away a short while ago before we came up with a recipe and were only left with a suggestion or two. If you have had some major triumphs in this area, let me know and maybe we could contact Tim through an internet sesance board and bring him up to date.