June 02, 2017
Flan is the perfect dessert after a great Spanish, Mexican, or Cuban meal…and it is so easy to make. Most flans are made with sweetened condensed milk which makes it a bit heavy for my taste, so I lightened it up and kept the richness using 3 milks (tres leches) – cream, whole milk, and evaporated milk, plus an equal amount of eggs and egg yolks yielding a flavor unmatched for a taste sensation you will thoroughly enjoy after a fine meal.
Making flan may seem a bit daunting to you – but you must trust me on this – it is one of the most simple desserts you will ever make. The primary thing you must remember is to get the correct color and flavor of the caramel…a deep amber. You do not want it too dark (for it will be bitter), or too light (for it will be tasteless). If you don’t get the caramel correct the first time – do it over – just don’t fill with the custard until you get the sugar caramel down pat.
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup water
In a skillet (with no heat) stir the sugar and water together until well combined. On medium high heat cook on top of stove until sugar begins to brown (but not burn). It is important to not stir the sugar while it cooks or it will crystalize and you will have to discard it, for it cannot be used if this happens.
If sugar begins to crystalize on the sides of the skillet, brush it down with a wet brush dipped in water. There is a fine line between perfect and burnt. It should be the color of a medium dark amber. Remember too, that it should be taken off the stove prior to reaching the desired color – for it will continue to cook.
Quickly pour caramel sugar into 13 ramekins – about 2 tablespoons in the bottom.
- 4 extra-large eggs (room temperature)
- 4 extra large egg yolks (room temperature)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon fine vanilla extract – not vanilla bean
- In a medium size mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, salt, extract and whisk until completely blended. Heat cream, whole milk, and evaporated milk in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or on top of the stove in a sauce pan until warm but not hot
- Slowly whisk into sugar and egg mixture until completely combined
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a different bowl
- Ladle strained custard mixture into caramel lined ramekins leaving 1/4” to ½” space at the top
- Place ramekins in a container large enough to hold all 13 ramekins. I use a hotel pan that can be purchased at Sam’s or Costco. Fill with warm water halfway up the ramekins.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil
- Carefully (so you don’t spill the water into the custard filled ramekins – place in pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes. Check every 2 to 5 minutes until done. Test one with a sharp knife until it comes out clean
- When done – take out of water bath and cool on rack. Chill in refrigerator until cold
- Run thin sharp paring knife around the edges of the ramekin and place upside down on serving dish, and tap a couple of times until it falls onto plate
- After the flan has been unmolded, I put my empty ramekin in the microwave for approximately 10 seconds to get the extra caramel on the bottom to pour over the top of the flan and on the sides of the plates
- Garnish simply with a sprig of fresh mint on top
- If you want to go fancy – put a dollop of fresh made whipped cream on the side (not on the top), 2 or 3 fresh raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries (or some of all 3), and remember a sprig of fresh mint