Pressure cooker makes for faster flan

Like many dishes, flan can be made much more quickly in a pressure cooker. This version is made with espresso and is from Bren Herrera’s “Modern Pressure Cooker.” Contributed by Ken Goodman

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Like many dishes, flan can be made much more quickly in a pressure cooker. This version is made with espresso and is from Bren Herrera’s “Modern Pressure Cooker.” Contributed by Ken Goodman

This espresso flan is a rich, decadent treat from "Modern Pressure Cooking" author Bren Herrera, a Cuban-American writer who infuses her pressure cooker recipes with tons of international flavors. You don't have to use a pressure cooker to cook a flan, of course, but if you make it several times a year, you might buy a flanera, which is a flan mold with a lid that helps the flan cook more evenly.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you’ll place the flan mold or flanera in another dish with a water bath. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Espresso and Toasted Almond Flan

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 2/3 cups whole milk

3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. unsweetened brewed espresso, divided

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. almond extract

1/2 tsp. espresso salt (or kosher salt)

1/2 cup cane sugar

1/2 cup toasted almonds, sliced, for garnish

Ground espresso, for garnish

In a medium mixing bowl, stir the eggs, using a wire whisk. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, followed by the whole milk, 3/4 cup of the brewed espresso, the extracts and the espresso salt. Whisk until all of the ingredients are well-blended, without creating bubbles, about 1 minute. Set aside.

To a round 1-quart aluminum flan mold or pan, add the sugar and the remaining tablespoon of brewed espresso and place on the burner. Turn the heat to high and begin caramelizing the sugar, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-high as soon as it starts to melt and continue stirring, using a wooden spoon or medium silicone spatula, 2 to 5 minutes, until the sugar is completely melted and a beautiful golden color.

Turn off and remove the mold immediately from the heat. Working fast, coat the entire mold with the melted sugar, rotating it in a controlled circular motion. Be careful; the caramel is extremely hot at this stage. Set aside and let sit until the caramel sets, about 1 minute. Pour the custard mixture into the flan mold or pan, using a medium-mesh hand strainer to collect any pieces of egg.

Add enough water to the pressure cooker so that it comes halfway up the side of the flan mold. Close the mold or cover your pan with aluminum foil and gently place in the middle of the cooker. Close the lid.

For a stovetop pressure cooker, set to high pressure (15 PSI) and set the timer for 16 minutes. Cook over high heat until the pressure point is reached, about 11 minutes, then turn off the heat but do not remove the cooker from the stove. The residual heat will finish cooking it. Allow the pressure to release on its own for the remaining 5 to 6 minutes.

For an electric cooker: Set to high pressure (10 to 12 PSI) and 16 minutes. When done, cancel cooking. Allow the pressure to release on its own (natural-release).

When all of the pressure is out, open the cooker and gently remove the mold, using silicone gloves. Do not unmold. Chill the flan for at least 5 hours, giving it enough time to set.

Remove the flan from the fridge 30 minutes prior to serving. To unmold, open the flan mold and loosen the sides, using a butter knife. Place a large plate on top of the mold and gently but quickly flip upside down. Allow all of the liquid caramel to drizzle over the flan. Garnish with almonds and ground espresso. Serves 6 to 8.

— From "Modern Pressure Cooking: More Than 100 Incredible Recipes and Time-Saving Techniques to Master Your Pressure Cooker" by Bren Herrera (Page Street Publishing, $24.99)