Leche Flan

Leche Flan

Leche Flan

This is probably the most amazing flan recipe in the world!  The ingredients are relatively simple and easy to find, it takes little time to put together and voila! you have a delicious creamy caramel custard which is sure to be a hit with everyone! The “Leche” in the name of this recipe is the Spanish word for milk. Traditionally, the liquid mixture for flan is prepared by heating milk and sugar together first before slowly adding eggs, all the while being careful that the eggs don’t scramble! Nowadays with sweetened condensed milk and evaporated being so readily available, there is no need for any of that guesswork, just mix and go!

The original flan recipe was given to me by my lab manager in my former lab, who got it from his Filipino aunt, back in 2009. That’s when the flan obsession began! It was tradition in our lab for someone to bring food/snacks for our weekly lab meetings. So one day our lab manager brought in a flan, made exactly according to his aunt’s recipe. It was tasty, but we all concluded that it tasted a bit too “eggy” for our liking. Naturally, being scientists, we had to optimize this recipe to create the perfect flan that everyone loved. So my lab manager and I took turns changing the recipe, one egg at a time until we got to the magical ratio of 2 whole eggs + 4 yolks for the creamiest custard! After that, we didn’t really need lab meeting as an excuse to make and bring flan to work and soon birthday cakes were replaced with birthday flan!

The flan can be prepared in either individual ramekins or in a larger container. I prefer to use a round cake pan which usually ends up serving 6-8 people.

Leche Flan

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking time : 45-60 minutes
Equipment : Ramekins or round cake pan

Ingredients
1/2 cup white sugar
2 whole eggs + 4 egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/8 tsp salt

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2) Place ½ cup sugar in small sauce pan and cook over low heat until bubbly.  Stir until all the sugar is melted and caramelized, but not burnt.  Quickly pour into ramekins or pan and let it cool.

Caramelized sugar in saucepan

Caramelized sugar in saucepan

Caramel in Cake pan

Caramel in Cake pan

3) Beat the  whole eggs and egg yolks with the salt in a large bowl.
4) Add condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla essence and mix till combined.
5) Strain the custard into another bowl using a fine sieve. This is an important step as it removes some of the unincorporated egg bits and bubbles.

Strain the custard

Strain the custard

6) Strain the custard again into the prepared pan or ramekins. This creates an even smoother custard!
7) Cover the ramekins or cake pan loosely with foil and place into a larger pan. Fill the outer pan with hot water till it reaches halfway up the ramekins or cake pan, creating a water bath. You are using the water bath to gently steam the custard. It is important that the foil is not too tight or else the custard will curdle instead of slowly setting.

Water bath for flan

Water bath for flan

8) Bake the flan in the oven for around 45-60 minutes till a knife inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. The flan will appear jiggly but should not be a liquid. If your flan is still liquid, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes till it sets. It will continue to set as it cools outside.

Set flan

Set flan

9) Remove the flan from the oven and cool outside. Place the pan in the fridge till you are ready to serve.
10) When ready to serve, run a sharp knife around the edge of the flan and invert onto a larger plate. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Leche Flan

Leche Flan

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