donderdag 21 november 2013

Maple Pumpkin Flan

Serves 8

Agar powder can be found in natural food stores and some Asian markets (especially Thai groceries). If you find it at an Asian grocery, make sure to buy the plain variety without added sugar or flavorings. If you can only find agar flakes (inferior to the powder but unfortunately more common), double the amount and cook for twice as long until the flakes have completely dissolved.

Maple Caramel
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup agave nectar

2 cups vanilla almond milk, divided
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon agar powder
2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
1 cup very smooth pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. In a small saucepan, combine maple syrup and agave nectar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium high, and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until the mixture turns a darker shade of amber and a drop of the caramel in water hardens into a firm ball. It will smell like caramel, but watch carefully so it doesn't burn. Immediately pour the caramel into a clean, dry, 9-inch glass pie plate (or divide among small ramekins or bowls); tilt the plate to coat the bottom and lower portions of the sides of the plate with caramel, and set aside to cool. The caramel may make a cute tinkling sound as it cools, and that's okay!

2. In a large saucepan, whisk together 1 cup of almond milk, white and brown sugar, and the agar powder, then bring to an active simmer over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk together the remaining almond milk, cornstarch, pumpkin puree, coconut milk, lemon juice, spices, and sea salt. Using a wire whisk, slowly stream in the coconut milk mixture into the saucepan and bring to an active simmer for about 8 minutes, or until the cornstarch has fully cooked and the mixture thickens slightly. Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Pour into the caramel-coated pie plate and set aside to cool on a kitchen countertop for 20 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

3. To serve, invert the flan onto a large shallow bowl or dish with curved edges. Gently tap the top of the plate to release the flan; if the flan is stubbornly stuck, lower the bottom into a pan of hot water for 2 minutes to loosen the caramel. Slice and serve with caramel sauce spooned on top.

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Terry Hope Romero is a vegan chef and author of several bestselling and award-winning cookbooks. She contributes to VegNews‘s “Hot Urban Eats” column and has hosted the public access/podcast vegan cooking show the Post Punk Kitchen. She lives in Queens, New York.

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