April 29, 2020

Ñora Pepper Flan

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This Spanish flan using the pulp of hydrated dried mild red peppers called ñora is a bit odd but it is quite good with a teensy bit of bite. The flavor as a dessert flan is a combination of chocolate, prunes, and coffee. Ñora pepper is used to flavor Spanish sausages, savory dishes, and Romesco sauce. One of the recipes I found in a Spanish website is flan. Yes, sweet dessert flan. I couldn't find the link to the recipe anymore but I still remember it has no milk just like Flan de Naranja which is in one of my Spanish cookbooks. I followed that recipe substituting the pepper pulp and the soaking water. I believe you can also use the more widely available, cheaper, and also mild ancho dried pepper which has a very similar chocolate-y and prune-y flavor.

Ñora Pepper Flan
4 tablespoons sugar for caramel
4 pieces dried ñora pepper
3 cups warm water
4 tablespoons sugar
4 whole eggs
  • Caramelize 4 tablespoons sugar and coat bottom of 4 to 5 small ramekins; set aside.
  • With a small bowl on top to weight down, soak ñora peppers in water until fully hydrated, about 3 hours; reserve soaking liquid.
  • Remove stems and seeds and discard. Gently scrape the pulp with a small knife; set aside.
  • Place the skins in a small saucepan. Pour the soaking water into the saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Pour over a fine sieve into a measuring bowl.
  • Return the liquid to the saucepan and add 4 tablespoons sugar; boil for 20 minutes. Transfer into a measuring cup. You should have 2 cups. Let cool completely.
  • Scrape remaining pulp if any from the boiled skins; discard skins and add pulp to the reserved pulp.
  • Beat the eggs in a small bowl and strain into a 4-cup measuring cup; set aside.
  • When syrup has cooled, add the pepper pulp and blend using a stick blender. Pour over a fine sieve into the beaten eggs and gently mix together.
  • Fill the caramel-coated ramekins and place in a pan with 2-inch tall sides. Carefully pour 1 inch of hot water into the pan.
  • Bake in a preheated 300°F oven for 40 minutes.
  • Transfer flans and let cool on wire rack for 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight in refrigerator.
  • Loosen flan by running a small offset spatula all around. Turn over onto a dessert plate letting all the syrup to drain on top.


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