This distinctive variation on a traditional flan is the brainchild of Chef Mark Lietzke, the Executive Chef of the Country Club of Hilton Head on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It makes great use of Sweet Grass Dairy’s incredible Asher Blue cheese.
The Asher Blue Cheese Flan was originally served on top a wood-grilled rib eye steak and paired with a Donna Laura Ali Sangiovese di Toscana wine, but it is flavorful enough to enjoy on its own.
Custards, in general, date back to ancient roman times when Romans began keeping chickens and had an excess number of eggs after first raising chickens. They mixed the eggs with cream and came up with custard. In Mexico, flan is a very popular custard dessert topped with a caramel sauce, and it was introduced by the Spaniards in the early 1800s. There are many variations to flan, but instead of one that has too much egg, this recipe incorporates almonds for a creamy texture.
Suggested Wine Pairing: Ceja Sonoma Coast Syrah
Sea Island’s Executive Chef Jonathan Jerusalmy is a native Frenchman and has incorporated his French influence into the holiday menus of the resort’s various restaurants with dishes like Chestnut Soup, Foie Gras Flan and Croque-en-Bouche. “Having not spent the holidays with my family in more than 20 years, the way to feel close to them during this time of year is through the smell and taste of holiday dishes I remember. These dishes cradled my childhood and inspired me to become a chef.”
When you’ve worked with food as long as I have, and have come up with as many desserts as I have, you get to a certain point where many of the dishes you construct are compilations of things you’ve done previously.
When we opened Mozza, I had done a cream-filled date tart that I really loved, so I urged Dahlia to rearrange some of its components, and to her credit she came up with this sophisticated rendition of pumpkin pie. We serve it with walnut cookies that are a twist on a Greek walnut cookie that I included in a previous book.
Pumpkin purée is one of the few canned items that I endorse, the reason being that it is totally pure — there are no weird ingredients in it, just pumpkin. Also, from my experience, roasting a pumpkin and puréeing it myself doesn’t yield more delicious results than canned. You will need an 11-inch flan ring (a straight-sided bottomless tart ring) to make this.
Click here to see the Bourbon Gelato recipe.
Click here to see Nancy Silverton's Thanksgiving Dinner.
Saul Flores suggests pairing the flan with an ice wine (the chef recommends Inniskillin from Canada as agreat option) — both have a beautiful caramel taste and notes of citrus that play well off one another. He says it’s like you’re drinking the flan and eating it at the same time. Flores explains that this recipe is his take on a traditional Easter dessert. — Molly Aronica