I’m repeating myself from almost exactly one year ago. Last October, I made a pumpkin flan, and this year, I’ve made one with persimmons. It couldn’t be helped. There was a big table of persimmons at the farmers’ market, and I had to bring some home. Then, I found this recipe for persimmon flan in Potager which is a book devoted to cooking seasonally. I think of flan in the same way I think of souffles. They both seem a little daunting because it seems like things could go horribly wrong, but in the end, they’re actually very easy and almost never fail.
The persimmons were peeled, seeded, chopped, and briefly cooked before being pureed. The puree was pushed through a strainer to make it very smooth. Although the recipe was very straightforward in that just plain persimmon puree was to be added, I had to introduce a little something extra. To the puree, I added a pinch or two of nutmeg and cinnamon. As usual for flan, sugar was caramelized in a small cake pan and then set aside. The custard was made from six eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and a bit of salt. The persimmon puree was stirred into the custard, and the custard was poured onto the caramelized sugar in the cake pan. It was baked at 325 degrees F in a bain-marie with water coming halfway up the side of the cake pan. The recipe noted it should bake for about 45 minutes, but mine required a few more minutes before it was set in the middle.
The flan was removed from the roasting pan with water and left to cool on a rack, and then it was unmolded onto a plate. That’s the scary part, but just like last time, it popped out without any problems. The remaining caramel in the pan was then pooled onto the inverted flan. I have to admit the caramel is the real reason I like flan so much, but the custard was delicious too. The persimmon flavor was mild, but by adding fruit, the custard is prevented from tasting too much of egg. Next time, I might add a larger pinch of cinnamon, but I’m not complaining about the results here at all. I should really consider making flan more often than once each October, but at this rate, it has been a special, appreciated dessert each time.