Coconut Caramel Flan with Almonds - Bon Appetit November 1985

1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup water
2 ¼ cups whipping cream
¾ cup well-stirred cream of coconut
3  eggs
3  egg yolks
¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 teaspoon almond extract
24 pieces sliced almonds, toasted
½ cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
3 tablespoons Glazed Orange Peel*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat sugar and water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and boil until caramelized, 7 to 10 minutes.  immediately pour caramel into 8-cup soufflé dish, tilting and swirling dish to coat bottom and sides.

Scald cream and cream of coconut in heavy, large saucepan.  Using electric mixer, beat eggs and yolks until thick and light in color.  Gradually mix in scalded cream.. Gently fold in 3/4 cup flaked coconut and almond extract.  Pour into caramel-lined pan.  Pour enough water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of soufflé dish.  Bake flan until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.  Cool to room temperature, Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.  (Coconut flan can be prepared up to 1 day ahead.)

Just before serving, invert flan onto rimmed platter.  Arrange almond in 8 fleur-de-lis patterns around upper edge of flan, using 3 slices for each.  Sprinkle toasted coconut between almonds.  Optional:  top with orange peel.

*Glazed Orange Peel
1 large thick-skinned orange
1 cup water
¼ cup sugar

Using vegetable peeler, cut peel from orange in 1 inch wide strips.  Cut out any white membrane.  Cut peel into 2 x 1/8 inch julienne.  Blanch in small saucepan of boiling water 1 minute.  Drain.  Rinse under cold water.  Repeat blanching and rinsing 2 more times.

Heat 1 cup water and sugar in heavy 8 inch skillet over low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat to medium and bring to simmer.  Add orange peel and simmer until glazed and most of liquid evaporated, swirling pan occasionally, about 20 minutes.  Transfer the orange peels to a cookie sheet covered with parchmwent paper and seperte the strips of ornge peel, let them cool.