Delicious, silky-soft custard, infused with cinnamon and topped with apple flavoured caramel sauce and poached apple slices… Spice up your classic creme caramel and impress your guests this holiday season with this simple to make, yet deliciously sophisticated Poached Apple & Cinnamon Creme Caramel (Apple and Cinnamon Flan)!
Creme caramel, flan, caramel flan, caramel pudding… whatever you call it, it’s the perfect dessert out there, at least in Mr K’s opinion. We’ve been going a little crazy with these delicious custards at home these days, trying out different flavour combos, pretty much subsisting only on them (well not quite, but you know what I mean), so I have a feeling it might just be a seasonal preference for the hubs. Come summer, I’m sure he might declare ice cream to be the most supreme of all desserts.
What I have for you guys today takes this beautiful and classic dessert to a whole new level in terms of flavour. This is Poached Apple & Cinnamon Creme Caramel (or Apple and Cinnamon Flan), a mash-up of two of my favourite desserts – apple pie filling and creme caramel. Deliciously creamy, velvety, silky-soft custard, infused with cinnamon and topped with apple flavoured caramel and poached apple slices. How good is all that? Like you wouldn’t freaking believe it!
The base of this delicious custard is my standard Creme Caramel recipe that I have previously published (that post is from last year, which was still very early days for this blog, which you can tell by looking at those pictures I’m sure). It’s an unbelievably easy dessert to make, yet SO delightful to eat. And you can easily make it ahead for guests. Just keep them in the fridge until you need to serve. Then you simply unmold them on to a dish and serve.
One adjustment that I made to that recipe here (apart from adding cinnamon to the custard of course) is in how I made the caramel sauce (the one that you pour into the mold before you add the custard). Instead of water, I used apple juice (apple cider) to add apple flavour to the caramel. So unlike in that recipe, here you have to wait until the caramel turns a slightly darker amber colour before you add it to your ramekins/dishes. This is because the apple juice is amber coloured to begin with (unlike water in the basic recipe). Also, the caramel doesn’t harden completely here, and stays a little sticky because of the apple juice addition. However this does NOT affect the final product in anyway. This Apple Cinnamon Flan is going to be all kinds of amazing!
Poached Apple & Cinnamon Creme Caramel
- 2 honeycrisp apples cut in half, cored and sliced thin
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 cups of warm apple juice warm it in the microwave
Cinnamon Creme Caramel (Cinnamon Flan)
- 2 cups of half n half or 50:50 of milk and cream
- 1 cup cream you can use half n half here too but that would make the custard slightly less creamy
- 2 eggs and 4 yolks large eggs
- heaped ½ tsp finely ground cinnamon
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup of sugar
- ¼ cup apple juice
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
Poached apple slices
- Place sugar in a dry, medium saucepan, and heat over medium heat until the sugar caramelizes to a dark amber colour.
- Add warm apple cider and stir until the caramel is melted.
- Add sliced apples and simmer until the apples become soft, take on the caramel colour and become slightly translucent. Set aside to cool. Drain the "juice" and place the poached apple slices in an air tight bottle and store in the fridge until needed. Don't throw away the poaching liquid. Add this to your next batch of Warm Apple Cider.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and have a baking tray (large enough to hold 8, 4 ounce ramekins) and boiled water ready.
- Lightly grease the ramekins with a thin layer of butter.
For the Caramel
- Add the sugar into a saucepan and pour apple juice along the side of the saucepan. Add corn syrup and let it heat gently over medium heat. Do not stir. When the sugar starts to dissolve, gently swirl to mix the water and sugar. To avoid crystallization, dip your pastry brush in cold water and brush the sides of the pan to wash down the sugar that's stuck to the sides.
- When all the sugar is dissolved, swirl the saucepan occasionally to mix the caramel. Keep an eye out for the caramel changing colour and immediately remove from the heat when it starts to turn dark amber in colour.
- Carefully pour this into the 8 ramekins and swirl them to spread the caramel on the bottom. Set aside.
For the Custard
- Whisk eggs, yolks and vanilla together in a bowl until everything is mixed well and is lightly frothy.
- In a separate small saucepan, combine the sugar, cinnamon and half n half/cream and heat gently until the sugar completely dissolves and starts to steam.
- Whisk a little of the heated milk mixture into the egg mix in a slow stream while whisking the eggs to temper them. Strain it back into the milk mixture and mix well.
- Pour this mixture into your ramekins and bake in a hot water bath for about 15-17 minutes till done. The surface of the custard should still be wobbly and not runny. They will continue to cook and set even after being removed from the oven.
- Remove from the water bath and let them cool to room temperature, and then chill in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours, Overnight is better.
- When ready to serve, run a flat knife around the sides of the ramekin to release/unmold the custard. Invert this onto a serving dish/plate.
- Serve with some poached apple slices on top.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”
The apple flavour comes through unbelievably well in this apple flan. The apple caramel infuses into the custard a little as it bakes and on top of that (quite literally), you have the apple flavoured caramel topping. But hey, I didn’t stop there. I took it a step further and poached apple slices in caramel and then piled them on top of the baked custard too! So damn gooooood. So really, unless you’ve gone taste blind to apple, there’s just no way you’re going to miss that apple flavour in this dessert.
And then of course we have the custard itself. The cinnamon custard. I wanted to give it a warm flavour profile without it being too overpowering or without drowning out or competing with the apple flavour of the sauce, which is why I decided to spice it up a little with cinnamon. The custard is insanely creamy and delicious, and has no eggy feel to it (which I find very off-putting in creme caramel).
So imagine this beautiful Apple Cinnamon Creme Caramel, bathed in delicious apple flavoured caramel sauce and then topped with poached apple slices and maybe a dollop of whipped cream, on a gorgeous little dish… Maybe Mr K was on to something. This just might be the perfect dessert to impress your guests this holiday season. So easy, so versatile, yet sophisticated in both flavour and texture.
If you liked this recipe don’t forget to subscribe for new (and free) recipes and updates by entering your email address below (and get all these recipes delivered straight to your inbox), so you don’t miss out on a thing. You can find me on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST and GOOGLE-PLUS too.