Recently a member of my prayer group was yearning for creme caramel.He too is a lacto vegetarian,meaning no animal products including eggs and gelatin . I created this for him and decided to put up the recipe so he can make it any time he is in the mood .
3 cup flan dish
Photograph by Rahul Mahtani
2 1/4 cups half and half
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons custard powder ( I use Bird’s )
1 vanilla bean,scraped
3 tsp Agar Agar powder
1/2 cup sugar for caramelising
Place the 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy bottomed pan on a medium flame till the sugar starts to turn golden . Watch this carefully as it can go from golden to burnt in seconds . Pour into mould and rotate the mould to spread the sugar evenly. Set aside.
Cook the agar agar in 3/4 cup of water until the agar agar dissolves . Boil for 1 minute . Off heat .
Mix custard in 1/2 cup of cold half and half to dissolve.
Place the balance 1 1/4 cup half and half with the vanilla bean in a heavy bottom pan, stir in the 1/4 cup sugar and stir over medium heat to dissolve sugar . Bring to a boil and stir in the dissolved custard . Cook till the mixture is slightly thicken , about 1 to 2 minutes .
Add the agar agar to the custard , boil and cook for about 2 minutes . Off heat . Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring .
Pass through a strainer into the caramel coated mould . Once cool, cover and allow to set for several hours in the refrigerator .
To serve, loosen the sides with a knife and invert onto a serving platter .