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Passover Desserts

(By Renee Comet For The Washington Post)

Have ready an ungreased 1-quart ovenproof casserole dish and a pan that is several inches wider than the casserole.

To make the caramel coating, in a small, heavy pan over medium-high heat, add 1/2 cup of the sugar and the water. Bring to a light boil, swirling the pan gently by its handle to help dissolve the sugar. When the syrup is clear, boil it rapidly, swirling the saucepan occasionally, until the syrup turns a light, golden-brown (watch the syrup carefully and do not let it get dark brown, or it may have a burned taste).

Immediately pour the hot syrup into the casserole. Carefully tilt the casserole, letting the syrup coat the bottom. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.

In a medium bowl, add the eggs and beat until blended. Add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat for a minute or two until the mixture is well combined but not frothy. Slowly add the warm orange juice, beating constantly. Pour the orange custard mixture into the caramel-coated casserole. Place the casserole in the larger pan and transfer to the oven. Add enough boiling water to the larger pan to come about halfway up the outside of the casserole. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a small knife inserted near the center of the custard comes out clean.

Remove the casserole from the water bath and transfer it to a rack to cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 3 hours or up to 2 days. The flan should not be unmolded until shortly before serving.

To serve, carefully run a knife around the top edge of the custard to loosen it from the casserole. Invert onto a flat serving platter that has a raised rim to hold the caramel syrup. Sprinkle with grated orange zest, if desired.

Per serving: 201 calories, 6 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 176 mg cholesterol, 1 g saturated fat, 59 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Leigh Lambert; e-mail questions

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