Vietnamese Flan

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
8 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a dry small pot, add a cup of sugar and water. Stir to coat the sugar in water. Allow the high heat to simmer the sugar into a caramel. Swirl the pot but do not stir, otherwise the sugar will crystallize.
2. Pour into a 8″ circular baking dish and set the oven to 350F.
3. In a medium pot, add the milk and sugar and heat until it’s hot, but not boiling, stirring. It should be somewhere around 180F.
4. In a bowl, add the eggs, yolk and vanilla. Whisk until blended.
5. Pour the heated milk into the egg mixture, stirring briskly.
6. Take a fine-mesh strainer and hold it over the baking dish. Pour the mixture into the baking dish so that any big particles are caught in the strainer.
7. Place the baking dish inside a tall metal baking pan and both into the oven.
8. Pour hot water into the baking pan being careful not to get hot water into the custard mixture.
9. Bake for 35-40 minutes, when the middle is firm.
10. Remove carefully from the oven, place on rack to cool.
11. Refrigerate covered, until ready to serve.
12. To serve, cut around the edges of the baking dish, place a plate on top and flip the flan over onto the plate.

This flan tastes eggier than the Spanish flan, which uses condensed milk. I used my vitamix to mix the eggs, yolk and vanilla and poured the milk in the top opening while I had it on low. The hardest part is removing the baking dish inside the baking pan filled with hot water. My advice is to use water-resistant oven mitts and moving slowly!

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