Cajeta Flan

Caramel
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Softened butter

Lightly butter 6 (4 ounce) ramekins or custard cups. Stir together water, lemon juice and sugar in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush sides of the pot just above the sugar every 30 seconds to prevent crystals from forming. Cook sugar until a rich dark color is achieved.

Immediately set the saucepan into a bowl of ice. Spoon cooled caramel into prepared cups. If the caramel becomes too thick or sets up completely, warm it over very low heat until it is pliable again. Pour 2 teaspoons of caramel into each cup and turn the cups to evenly coat the bottom. If desired, reserve remaining caramel to pour around the finished desserts, thinned with a few drops of warm water.

Custard
1 recipe Cajeta
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Warm the cajeta slightly in the microwave or allow it to come to room temperature. Put eggs and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk in the sugar until it is dissolved but the mixture is not foamy. Whisk in the cajeta and then the milk, and stir until well blended. Pour custard into the prepared cups and place them in a water bath. Place the flans into oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until firm.

Carefully remove the flans from the water bath and chill, tightly covered, for 4 hours or overnight before serving.

When ready to serve, loosen flans from edges of cups with a sharp knife pressed firmly against the edges of the cups. Unmold individual flans directly onto their serving plates.

If making one large flan, put the serving plate on top of the mold and invert them in tandem. Lift mold off carefully. Drizzle reserved caramel around, if desired, and serve at once.

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