Toffee Caramel Flan

Sarah Labensky in
Southwest The Beautiful Cookbook
Barbara Pool Fenz

 Serves 6.

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup sater
1-1/2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean (pod), split
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tsp molasses
1 Tbs Amaretto liqueur

Butter six 3/4 cup ramekins.  Combine the granualted sugar with the water in a small, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the sugar reaches a dark golden brown.  Immediately pour about 2 tablespoonfuls in each of the ramekins,  tiliting to spread the caramel evenly along the bottom.  Arrange the ramekins in a baking dish 2-in deep and set aside.

Combine the milk , cream, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean in a heavy saucepan.  Bring just to a boil, cover and remove from the heat.  Let steep for about 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees.  Whisk the egggs,  yolks brown sugar, molasses and Amaretto together in a medium bowl.  Ucover the milk mixture and return it to the stovetop.  Bring just to the boil again.  Whisk about one-third of the hot milk into the egg-sugar mixture to temper it.  Whisk in the remaing hot milk.  Strain the custard through a fine sieve.  Pour into the caramel-lined ramekins, filling them to just below the rim.  Pour enough  warm water into the baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until almost set but still somewhat liquid in the center.

Chill completely before serving.  To unmold, run a small knife around the edge of the custard, invert onto a serving plate and give the ramekin a firm sidwarys shake.

Garnish with fresh fruit, caramelized almons or whipped cream.