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Mexican flan with tequila syrup by Thomasina Miers

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This is hard to resist, scented as it is with the femme fatale collection of tequila, vanilla and the rich, dark flavours of burnt sugar.

For the flan

  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 4 tbsp Reposado tequila, warmed
  • 250ml milk
  • 250ml RSPCA Assured labelled double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways down the middle
  • 1 RSPCA Assured labelled whole egg, at room temperature
  • 5 RSPCA Assured labelled egg yolks, at room temperature

For the poached rhubarb

  • 7 large stalks of rhubarb, cut into 2cm lengths
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar (or more to taste)
  • A splash of Pernod

For the flan

  • Preheat the oven: 150°C/fan 130°C/Gas Mark 2.
  • Pour 100ml water into a pan and add 150g of the sugar and the golden syrup. Turn on the heat, melt the sugar and simmer briskly until the caramel starts to turn a golden colour.
  • Reduce the heat and cook for a further few minutes without stirring, until the sugar turns a deep, dark brown.
  • Carefully add the warmed tequila and spoon the caramel into the bottom of four pudding moulds, being careful to coat the whole bottom by tipping the mould around. Place the moulds in a roasting tin and leave to cool.
  • Pour the milk and cream into a large pan with the vanilla pod and set over a medium heat. Just before the milk comes to the boil, remove from the heat and cool.
  • Whisk the egg and the yolks with the remaining 100g of sugar in a bowl and slowly pour in the milk mixture, a little at a time, as you whisk. Once all is combined, return to the pan and place over a low heat. Stir until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  • Ladle the egg mixture into the prepared moulds and fill the roasting tin with hot water, enough to come up near to the top of the moulds.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until the custard is just set.  Allow to cool and, when ready to eat, run a knife around the edge of each mould and carefully invert onto a plate. 

For the poached rhubarb

  • Put the rhubarb into a saucepan on top of the vanilla pod and add a splash of water and the Pernod.  Put on a low heat for about 20 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft but not collapsed.  Add sugar to taste, bearing in mind what you are going to serve it with. It’s nice to combine tart rhubarb with a sweet flan.
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