Cheese Flans with Tomatoes and Basil
Serves 8 as a first course.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 cups finely grated Grana Padano cheese, about 8 ounces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 ½ cups Mutti canned cherry tomatoes
20 basil leaves, chiffonade
Preheat an oven to 375°F. Generously butter eight 3-ounce ramekins.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk 3 minutes. Slowly add the milk whisking constantly. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and add the eggs and pulse a few times to mix well. Add the cheese, salt and pepper and process 2 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins dividing evenly. Place in a baking dish. Pour in enough boiling water to come up 1-inch along the sides of the ramekins. Bake until they are puffed and firm to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes.
In the meantime, warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes and heat until bubbling, 2 minutes. Season well with salt. When the flans are done, remove them from the water bath. Run a knife around the edge and remove the flans from the ramekins.
To serve, place one flan in the center of each place. Spoon the cherry tomatoes and their sauce over the flans and garnish with basil.