This is a beautiful, elegant custard that is infinitely variable and so simple to make. Our guests always love this and give me the best compliment possible: a clean plate!! Try it and see for yourself.
Makes 12 servings
20 large eggs, preferably pastured and local
1 cup sour cream (plain with no additives or thickeners, Daisy is one good brand)
1 cup whole milk, half and half or cream
3-4 cups coarse grated cheese (cheddar, swiss, gouda, Munster, etc. or a mixture)
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 green onions, chopped finely
1/2 cup sun-dried or fresh tomatoes, chopped into 1/4" dice
1/2 stick of butter, divided
- In 2 9x13 pans, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in each in a 350 degree oven. Do this while the oven is pre-heating.
- In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper until smooth and frothy.
- Remove pans from oven and divide egg mixture evenly between the 2 of them.
- Sprinkle on 2 cups of grated cheese. Then add 1/4 cup of tomatoes and half of the green onion to each pan. Start at the edges and work towards the middle for the most even distribution of the flavors.
- Bake in a water bath for 20-30 minutes, covered, or until center is set. Cut each pan into 6 servings and enjoy. This can rest and be kept warm in the water bath for 30-45 minutes if necessary.
- Substitute any combination of 1 cup chopped, fresh herbs for the green onion or add up to one cup with them. Sprinkle on top with the green onion when assembling. Chives, parsley, basil, oregano, lemon verbena, mint, etc will all work well.
- Use roasted red peppers in place of the tomatoes.
- Pick a theme and use the cheese and herbs that would go with that. For example, a Greek breakfast flan could have feta, sundried tomatoes, a few green olives and fresh oregano along with the green onion. Mexican could have roasted red peppers, fresh tomato, green onion, cheddar and cotija cheeses along with fresh cilantro. Experiment and have fun with this!
- Assemble casseroles and refrigerate the night before. Add 5-10 minutes to the bake time.
- To use a stronger, more aged cheese like parmesan, Manchego or Asiago, use only half as much. I like to combine these with a cup of mild cheddar or swiss to keep the consistency of the flan nice and creamy while not being overwhelmed by the strong cheese flavors.