Wednesday, February 25, 2015

No-Bake, Dairy-Free Egg Custard Flan

I dedicate this recipe to my sister, who recently learned that she's sensitive to dairy, egg whites (but not the yolks, strangely) and that consuming gelatin would be healing to her digestive system.  She has been suffering from GERD for months and, by reducing the carbs and sugar in her diet, it has given some relief from her uncomfortable symptoms.  Like all gelatin desserts, this recipe is so easy to make!  It tastes like a traditional flan, without the need for large amounts of sugar or milk.  The topping is made from a 50:50 combination of real maple syrup and water; a serving is only 3/4 teaspoon and contains 1 extra carb.  You have the option to omit it, but I think it's worth it and necessary if you want the true flavor of a flan.  I've set my gelatin in regular-size "flower petal" silicone muffin cups to create individual desserts, but I think this would work equally well set in a small pie tin then unmolded and cut into wedges.  Dear sister, I hope you enjoy this recipe.  It will go a long way to satisfy your sweet tooth!

No-Bake, Dairy-Free Egg Custard Flan
Makes 8 servings

Custard Ingredients:
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened flax, almond or other type of non-dairy milk
1 cup water
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin powder
1/2 teaspoon molasses (about 2-3 drops)
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/16 teaspoon mace (pinch, optional)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon 100% stevia powder (I use SweetLeaf brand)

Topping Ingredients:
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
1 tablespoon warm water

1.  Mix together the milks and water.  Pour 1 cup into a small saucepan, add the molasses and heat over medium-low heat until beginning to boil.  Meanwhile, pour the remaining milk mixture into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin powder over the top and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.  When the milk in the saucepan is starts boiling, turn the heat to low and add the gelatin-milk mixture.  Whisk until gelatin is completely dissolved.

2.  Separate the egg white from the yolk and put the yolk into the same small bowl used for the gelatin-milk mixture (discard the white or save for another purpose).  Whisk the yolk.  When the gelatin mixture in the saucepan is hot and steamy, but not boiling, carefully ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot liquid into the yolk while whisking constantly.  Return the egg-milk mixture to the saucepan, whisking constantly.  Continue stirring for about 30 seconds to cook the egg yolk, but do not allow to boil (or you'll end up with scrambled egg).  Remove from heat and add the nutmeg, mace, vanilla extract and stevia powder.  Whisk to combine.  Taste the custard mixture and adjust sweetness, if desired.  Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.  The spices will have settled to the bottom, so before pouring into the molds, whisk to redistribute the spices and whisk occasionally as your divide the mixture equally between 8 silicone muffin cups or pour entire contents into a small pie tin.  Place in the refrigerator until completely set (several hours, but set time depends on the mold).

4.  Make the maple topping by stirring together the maple syrup and water.  Set aside until ready to serve.

5.  To unmold, dip the muffin cups, one at a time, into a bowl filled with warm water to a depth of about 1 inch for about 15 seconds (you might have to gently pull the top of the custard away from the sides of the mold, as well).  If you used a pie tin, place it into a sink that has been filled with warm water to a depth of about 1 inch for 20 seconds and run a sharp knife around the top edge of the custard before unmolding on a serving plate.  Spoon 3/4 teaspoon of the maple topping over the top of each dessert before serving.

Nutritional Information per serving (includes 3/4 teas. topping): 42 calories, 2.5 g total carbohydrate (0.1 g dietary fiber, 2.1 g sugars), 2.9 g total fat (1.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 26 mg cholesterol. 10 mg sodium, 26.8 mg calcium, 18 mg potassium, 1.2 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 2.5 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2015

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