Vanilla Flan With Butterscotch Sauce

"For this recipe, simply press the brown sugar and a little salt into the bottom of the dish. As the flan cooks and cools, it will caramelize and form it's own sauce."
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  • Heat a medium saucepan, over medium heat, with the half and half and vanilla until steaming, about 3 minutes; remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep 15 minutes (skip this step if using vanilla extract).
  • Position rack to lower third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt, pressing with spoon to remove any lumps; dump into a 9 inch pie pan and press down in an even layer.
  • Remove vanilla bean from half and half, scrape out seeds, and return seeds to half and half; heat to steaming, about 1 or 2 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; gradually whisk in half and half mixture until well combined (if using vanilla extract, you would add it here).
  • Pour mixture into pie plate (do not worry if some of the sugar floats up, it will eventually settle back down to the bottom.
  • Place pie plate in a deep roasting pan; fill roasting pan with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the pie plate.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool flan on wire rack for 30 minutes, cover, and cool in refrigerator at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • To serve, run a knife around edge and invert on a serving dish.

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