Caramelly Vegan Leche Flan

Soy milk lends a mellow, neutral flavor to this silky flan from the Filipino Vegan cookbook, while cooking oil adds the fattiness typically derived from egg yolks in non-vegan versions of this recipe. 

What you need:

For the caramel:
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water

For the flan:
1 cup soy milk, divided
1⁄4 teaspoon agar agar powder 
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons sugar
⅛ teaspoon turmeric 
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
8 drops key lime or calamansi juice
1 tablespoon safflower oil
¼ teaspoon of key lime zest 

What you do:

  1. For the caramel, in a small pot, mix sugar and water. Place over medium heat. Using a spatula, continuously mix and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved and turned bubbly and dark amber. If sugar has turned back to solid, add a tablespoon of water to melt again. Into 4 ramekins, pour syrup. Swirl so bottom is entirely and evenly coated.
  2. For the flan, in a medium bowl, combine ¼ cup of milk, cornstarch, sugar, turmeric, vanilla, juice, oil, and citrus zest. Using a whisk, mix well until everything is dissolved.
  3. In a separate small pot, mix remaining ¾ cup milk and agar agar powder. Place over low heat and mix with a spatula or whisk for about 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Increase heat to medium and pour in cornstarch mixture. Continuously whisk for 3 to 5 minutes, or until creamy. 
  5. Remove from heat and pour into prepared ramekins and let solidify for at least one hour. Once ready to serve, run a knife around mold and invert onto a serving plate.
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