Asian Pudding/Flan

Food in Taiwan is very much influenced by the Japanese since they ruled the island before KMT came.  This means that there is Japanese food everywhere, and it also means that a lot of our daily snacks were Japanese too (which I only came to realize after coming to the States).  One of these delicious snacks is what we called “pudding” in Taiwan, but in reality westerners would probably call it flan or custard pudding.  However, unlike flan, it is usually steamed which results in a very soft silken tofu-like texture.  It is also (probably) only made of eggs and milk and sugar.  I don’t believe there is such thing as cream in Asia (or maybe just Taiwan), so milk is the best substitute.  I ended up baking because baking is just so much easier.  If you want to “steam” it in a large pot, make sure the water NEVER boils.  Watch the video for pointers.

This recipe that I used is a combination of two different ones: AB’s Flandango Recipe and the recipe from cooking with dog from youtube. If you’ve never seen cooking with dog, it is ADORABLE and you HAVE TO watch.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Eggs
  • 325ml Milk
  • 7 1/2 tbsp Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Caramel on the bottom, optional (see youtube video for how they made their caramel)

Procedure:

  1. Put the milk and sugar into the saucepan.  Heat until bare simmer and then take it off the heat. I was once told that heating the milk will change the taste of it, and AB’s recipe called for it.  Let it cool to the point where it won’t cook the eggs.  Add a splash of vanilla extract.

    Heating milk

  2. Beat the eggs until smooth. Be careful not to whip any air into it because we don’t want a hole-y custard.

    Whisk!

  3. Temper the eggs by carefully pouring the cooled milk mixture into the eggs in a thin stream.  When about half of the milk has gone into the mixture, pour the egg + milk mixture back into the sauce pot and stir.
  4. Strain this mixture to remove any possibly cooked eggs or egg white bits.
  5. Butter up your custard holding vessel.  This will allow you to remove the custard from it easily, but if you plan to eat out of it you can skip this step. I used 3.25″ 6 Ounce ramekins, which made 3 puddings for me.
  6. Pour mixture into your vessel. Put the puddings into a baking pan and place into oven heated to 350F.

    Don’t forget the water

  7. Pour in boiling water into the baking pan until the water is just below the level of the custard.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, and start to check on your puddings.  Pierce the pudding with a pairing knife, and if it comes out clean its done.  The pudding will be very jiggly in the middle when you shake it.  Make sure not to over cook it – a film on top, or browning of the edges means that it is over cooked.
  9. Mine was slightly overcooked, hence the egg film formed on top =(

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