Something serious is happening over here in Casa Herrera. Happiness is in the air. I’ve landed 3 new major cooking gigs, I’m considering buying a motorcycle, I ran my first ever 1/2 marathon and got a beautiful Tiffany’s necklace as the “medal,” and I finally accepted the reality that I’m planted in DC for the long haul. All these things have a created a happy vibe I’v not experienced in years past. And you all already know what happens when I’m happy! Shopping without regret and good ol’ grubbin’ no matter what. No special occasion needed. If it looks pretty and made with love, I’m going all in. You’d probably be surprised if I told you I have the appetite of a man. In fact, my baby brother, a studly 28 year old weighing 210 pounds, and I can go neck to neck when we’re enticed with something super delicious. That usually involves my mom’s food. And with the weather climbing to pool worthy heights, bright, refreshing dishes and meals are the most appealing. Dessert included. I make that clear because I’ve been on this super low carb lifestyle change for the past few months. I’m not fairing so well, especially when flans like this cherry one come to mind.
There was no proper thought process to making today’s #FlanFridays edition. I was simply inspired by the pretty flowers growing in our garden, namely the growing rose garden we’re building my mother, and really bright cherries that no one’s minding to. Before they went bad, I knew it’d be magically fun to make a cherry flan… unchartered territory for me.
Since the all American cherry pie is ubiquitous and quite beloved, I figured I could do a new flan flavor some justice. It’s been two months since I shared one so I wanted this one to be extra delightful. And sinful at the same time.
I wanted to play down the creaminess of the flan by adding the whole cherry instead of peeling them and just infusing a potent juice. It required a bit more work than I really had to spend, but it worked out. The loosened skins even stabilized themselves throughout the custard and resulted in a more rustic flan.
For added pizzaz, I spiked the final cherry sauce with a new pisco I came across a few months ago. It’s actually pretty strong giving the flan a beautiful and adult-appropriate kick!
The glaze on I oozed overtop was a more complex version of what I used in the custard. I still kept the skins on for texture and depth but added more sugar and more pisco.
This cherry pie of sorts is one for keeping. I’m not sure I needed another reason to start off my weekend on a super happy note, but a slice (or two) of this new marriage just elevated my mood.
I’m banking on having a sexy, delicious weekend. And I’ve already started!
PISCO CHERRY FLAN
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup Pisco
- 2 cups fresh cherries
- 1. 5 cups white refined sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For Cherry Glaze
Wash and rinse cherries. De-stem. In small pot, add cherries and splash of water. Cook on low heat, breaking up cherries with the back of a wooden spoon. Continue cooking until cherries are completely broken down and skin has peeled off. Seeds will pull apart. When reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, divide out 1/2 cup of cherry mixture for custard. Continue cooking sauce for final flan. Add remaining water, sugar, and Pisco. Simmer and continue to stir until mixture has thickened to light sauce consistency. If too thick, add additional Pisco and simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Whisk eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add and combine sweetened condensed & regular milk, vanilla, and one cup of cherry mixture. Set aside.
Add sugar to a flan mold and bring to medium-high heat. Allow all of sugar to melt down until golden caramel, stirring constantly. Do not allow the color of the sugar to become too dark or burn. When sugar is fully liquified, carefully coat the bottom and entire sides of the flan mold using hand towels to hold the pan (I suggest using a brush if you are not experienced in handling extremely hot caramel). Let sit for 2 minutes until sugar sets. Pour mixture into pan using a medium mesh hand strainer. Close pan tightly.
Make sure not to burn sugar. When sugar is fully melted down to a caramel color, carefully coat entire flan mold, covering all sides, using circular motion (I suggest using a brush if you are not experienced in handling extremely hot caramel). Move fast if using a brush. Close flan mold.
Add 3 cups of water to a 4 or 6 qt. pressure cooker. Gently place flan mold in cooker and close lid. Place jiggler on lid. If your pressure cooker jiggler has different PSI settings, set it to 10. Cook on high for 10 minutes, or until pressure cooker starts hissing. Turn off heat and allow all of the pressure to release itself, or for another 5 minutes.
Remove from pressure cooker after all pressure is released. Refrigerate for 8-9 hours or overnight for best taste. Remove from refrigeration 30-45 minutes before serving to loosen some. To serve, using a butter knife, loosen the sides of the flan all the way around. Take a large plate, place upside down on top of flan and flip. Pour cherry sauce over entire flan or individual slices. Garnish each slice with whole cherries.