The Sweet Hereafter

Easter eggs

We didn’t have an Easter egg hunt this year, because the youngest member of the Vancouver branch of my family is now sixteen and rather too old to look under bushes for gifts supposedly left by a rabbit that can somehow lay eggs. So this year, all our Easter eggs were to be found in the dessert.

And to make said dessert, I got to use The Heirloom: my grandmother’s llanera, i.e. the pan for making leche flan.

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The Heirloom is a queen among llaneras: a round eight-inch stainless steel pan, with snaps to hold the lid in place while the flan steams away inside the pressure cooker, and a chain handle to lift the whole thing out when it’s done.

I think it gives me so much satisfaction because it’s perfectly designed and constructed for its sole purpose. Not to mention the fact that it fulfills that purpose so well, turning out a beautiful leche flan every time.

In my family, the perfect leche flan must satisfy the following criteria:

1) The caramel topping must be a rich, dark gold, with a slightly bitter taste.

2) The flan must be smooth and creamy; light golden yellow in colour; and not too firm, but slightly wobbly.

3) There must be enough syrup to drip down the sides and form a pool of around the flan.

I’m not going to claim that I can make the perfect flan. But I think I’m getting there. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the journey.

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