Coconut Flan with Almond Whipped Cream & “Strawberry Salsa”

¡Aye caramba, me encanta el flan!

Yes, it’s true. I LOVE flan. When you taste this recipe you may want to have a hammock ready to fall into because it will transport you to an island setting with a breeze blowing in off the ocean waves of the Caribbean. Picture yourself biting into what a piña colada would taste like if it was in flan form. What could be wrong with that?   ¡Nada!

So the next time you’re feeling in a fiesta sort of mood, bust out the Buena Vista Social Club CD, make some tacos and whip up a batch of these. I promise they will not disappoint.

This a recipe I adapted from the La Lechera recipe I found on the back of the can. You can try the original recipe or add a few more touches to make it a true “P&P” experience.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 {13.5oz} cans coconut milk
1 {14oz} can sweetened condensed milk {I used Nestlé La Lechera}
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon rum extract {optional}
Almond whipped cream {recipe follows}
Strawberry “Salsa” {recipe follows}
Toasted flaked sweetened coconut {optional}
Toasted macadamia nuts, chopped {optional}

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat sugar in small, heavy-duty saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until dissolved and caramel-colored. Working very quickly, pour equal portions into the bottoms of 8, 8oz ramekins. Swirl around bottom to coat.

Place coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and extract(s) in a blender and blend for 5 seconds. Pour into prepared ramekins and cover lightly with foil. Place ramekins in a large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with warm water to about one half up the side of the ramekin.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Remove flan from water. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

To serve, run small spatula around edge of pan. Invert serving plate over pan. Turn over; shake gently to release. Top with strawberry salsa, whipped cream, toasted coconut and macadamia nuts. ¡Muy Delicioso!

Strawberry “Salsa”

Ingredients:
1 (8oz or pint) container of fresh strawberries, chopped into small pieces
1 Asian pear, chopped into small pieces
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum extract
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons fresh mint, coarsely chopped

Directions:
Place the cream, butter and brown sugar in a sauté pan over medium heat until outside edges begin to slightly bubble. Add the pear, vanilla and rum extract and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the strawberries and sauté for a minute longer. Pour mixture into another bowl to cool. When mixture has cooled to room temperature, add the mint.

Almond Whipped Cream

Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:
Whip cream, adding the sugar slowly throughout the process. Add extracts and whip until cream holds peaks.

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