Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the sugar, lemon juice, and water into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Cook until the sugar mixture is melted, caramelized, and quite dark in color. Divide the mixture equally among 6 (6 ounce) ramekins.
Place the cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, shredded sweetened coconut, eggs, and coconut essence into the container of a blender, process, and distribute evenly among the ramekins. Cover each with a square of aluminum foil. Place the ramekins into a deep-sided pan large enough to accommodate them. Fill the pan with water to reach halfway up the sides of each ramekin. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool completely and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve the flan, run a knife all around the edge to loosen the flan from the ramekin's edge. Hold an individual plate over the top of the ramekin, then turn and quickly flip both together in one quick motion to release the flan and its syrup onto the plate. Carefully lift the ramekin and let any residual syrup flow over the top of the flan.
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Reprinted with permission from © 2006, Katherine Kagel Cooking with Cafe Pasqual's: Recipes from Santa Fe's Renowned Corner Cafe, published by Ten Speed Press click for book review
recipe from www.inmamaskitchen.com