Mission Fig Flan with Spiced Almond Brittle

Metric version of recipe

Yields 8 portions

Ingredient Amount
For the caramel sauce  
Heavy cream 1 ½ cups
Sugar ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp.
Corn syrup 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp.
Butter, soft, cut into cubes (1/4 stick) 2 Tbsp.
For the flan  
Oloroso sherry 6 Tbsp.
Dried Misson figs, small-dice ½ cup
Caramel Sauce 4 oz.
Heavy cream 1-1/3 cups
Milk 1 cup
Vanilla bean 1 ea.
Eggs, large 4 ea.
Egg yolks 3 ea.
Maple syrup 1/3 cup
Sugar 1/3 cup
Spiced Almond Brittle 7 oz.


  1. Make the caramel sauce. Place the cream in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Keep warm over very low heat.
  2. Prepare an ice bath large enough to accommodate the medium saucepan you’ll use to cook the caramel. Combine the sugar has dissolved, 3 to 4 minutes. Stop stirring and continue to cook until straw colored, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to very low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is a chestnut brown caramel color and is just beginning to smoke. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the butter until completely incorporated. Gradually stir in the hot cream. Place the saucepan in the ice bath to to stop the cooking, stirring for 30 seconds. Remove the pot from the ice bath and reserve until needed.
  3. Make the flan. Place the sherry and figs in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sherry has been absorbed, 5 to 6 minutes. Mix together with ½ cup of the caramel sauce. Adjust the oven rack to the center position; preheat the oven to 325°F.
  4. Pour the cream and milk into a medium saucepan. Split open the vanilla bean and scrape the contents into the pan, along with the pod. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn off the heat. Let the mixture steep for 15 minutes to absorb the flavor, then strain to remove the vanilla bean.
  5. Beat the eggs, yolks, maple syrup, and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Slowly wisk in the milk mixture until incorporated.
  6. Butter eight 4-fluid ounce ramekins. Cover the bottom of each ramekin with 1 ½ tablespoons of the fig-caramel mixture. Ladle in the milk and egg mixture, dividing it evenly among the ramekins. Place the ramekins in a 2-inch deep baking pan or casserole and fill it with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the custards are just set, rotating the pan every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
  7. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let the custard cool to room temperature. Individually wrap the ramekins in plastic and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 2 days.
  8. Unmold the custard by running a small sharp knife between the custard and the ramekin. Invert onto a plate and tap lightly to release. Garnish each plate with 1 to 2 pieces of the spiced almond brittle.

Additional tips

Recipe credit: Sondra Bernstein for Valley Fig Growers, as presented at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Presented at the World Marketplace on Friday, Nov. 3, 2006.

© 2018 The Culinary Institute of America