Cinnamon Toast Flan: Denver edition

5 Sep

Mmmmmm. Bread Pudding.

This recipe was the best recipe. I love Julia Child. Actually, I’ve always loved Julia Child. I remember watching her TV show on PBS with my mom when I was little. She was seriously an awesome lady; she was ultra sassy and a feminist, and also loved good food and didn’t let anything stop her when it came to making it. I was really pleased when I saw that Nora chose this recipe.

I made this as part of my mom’s Birthday brunch. It seemed breakfasty (if you are like me and eat dessert for breakfast, anyway), and paired nicely with the coffee and omelets that I made, too. Here I am with my final product, about to go over to my parents’ house for brunch:

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I made this pudding the night before and served it warm (heated it up in the microwave right before serving). I was a little anxious about the Crème Anglaise, because I’d never made it before and from the comments on the recipe, inexperienced cooks had theirs curdle on them. However, mine turned out fine (probably because I was so anal and careful because I was scared of messing it up – I seriously mixed in the hot milk 1/8 of a cup at a time), and the end product was delicious. It really did turn out somewhere between bread pudding and a true custard.

I started with my toast. Actually, I started with bread, and then realized I didn’t have any butter (what?! How could this happen in my house?!), so at 9 pm on a Sunday evening, I went out wearing my pajamas (10-year-old Wick School of Irish Dance shorts and this sweet T-shirt, for the record) to my grocery store to buy some. Once I was back, I buttered my bread.

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That’s a lot of butter.

I got it onto its baking sheet, cinnamon-sugared it, and broiled away. And mmm did it look tasty. I LOVE cinnamon-sugar toast – it reminds me of my dad. He used to make it for me when I was a kid, much to my mother’s annoyance (it’s, obviously, sugary).

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Once it looked gooey, I pulled it out and let it cool.

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While the toast was cooling, I started on my Crème Anglaise. First, the eggs and sugar – then the heated milk.

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When the milk was heated, I mixed it in slowly, slowly. Thus, I don’t have any photos of this step
(sorry!). Here it is being heated, though.  I also heated slowly, slowly. It took a long time to cook (like 10 minutes). It seemed like nothing was happening, and then, BAM, it was thick and creamy and
done. I added my vanilla extract (homemade by Nora herself!). Oh my god, was this good. The spatula was licked clean, trust me.

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At this point, I cut/tore up my bread (it wasn’t really very crispy so it ripped more than cut when I ran a knife through it). Into my baking dish it went.

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Then came the fun part. I poured ½ of the custard over the bread. Look at it, basking in there.

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After 5 minutes or so, I poured the rest of my custard over the bread. Only a few bread iceburgs were left poking out of the top of the custard.

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Into the oven it went, with a waterbath to keep the top from cracking. It took AGES to cook – way longer than Julia said it would. Maybe it’s the altitude here.  After about 40-45 minutes, my skewer came out clean, and out of the oven it came. It smelled heavenly. It was about one million degrees hot, and at this point it was about 11 p.m., so I let it cool on the stove top overnight, covered by some tin foil.

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The next morning, I took it over to my parents’ house. Once I had it dished up, I heated each bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds and served it warm with peaches. Of course, I forgot my camera (like always), but it looked beautiful and tasted silky and creamy and cinnamony. I will definintely be making this again.

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