Goat Cheese Flan with Dried Fruits and Almonds

My Goat Cheese Flan with dried fruits and almonds is easily delicious fit for a company dinner or at a cocktail party. I also like to change the topping for a different flavor. In this rendition I used dried fruits and slivered almonds. When fresh figs are in season I love to top with sliced fresh figs tossed in olive oil. You can make the topping custom to your liking.

Goat Cheese Flan with Dried Fruits and Almonds

4 shallots, peeled and minced
4 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
6 ounce goat cheese
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup dried fruits, I used apricots, dates, and cranberries
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
sprinkle of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a casserole dish. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter and add the shallots. Cook 2 minutes until the shallots are wilted and translucent in color. Add chopped thyme and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the flour, stirring over low heat. Cook the "roux" on low for 2 minutes. Add cream and mil whisking over low medium for 3-4 minutes or until the base is thick and bubbly. Remove from heat adding goat cheese, stir and let cook for a few minutes. In the meantime whisk eggs, Parmesan cheese(1/2 cup) and nutmeg together in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of cream base to the eggs, whisking vigorously. This is tempering so you don't coop the eggs when adding to the cream base. Add the rest of the cream base and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Insert a tester in the center to make sure it is cooked through. If not cook for 5 minutes more. Let cool at room temperature before serving.

Combined toasted, almonds, dried fruits and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on top of cheese flan. The flan is delicious served with crackers, pita bread or crostinis.



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