How to make it

  • Baking the flan
  • Baking custards in a water bath is crucial, due to their delicate nature. The water insulates the custard and keeps it from cooking too fast, which causes cracks in the finished flan and a rubbery texture. Lay a dishtowel on the bottom of a roasting pan, place the flan dish or dishes on top of the towel, and then fill the pan with boiling water about halfway up the sides of the custard cups.
  • Out of the oven
  • The flan is ready to be removed from the oven when it has begun to set. Gently shake the pan: the centers of the custard should jiggle slightly. You can also insert the tip of a knife into the custard near the center; if the flan is still liquid, it needs more time in the oven. When the flan has begun to set, remove the roasting pan from the oven, being very careful not to spill the hot water. Let the flan cool while sitting in the water bath, until the ramekins are cool enough to handle. Refrigerate before serving.
  • Serving the dessert
  • The caramel, which set up hard in the bottom of the dish, will have softened due to the moisture in the custard. You should be able to slip each custard out of its cup with ease: run a butter knife or the tip of a paring knife around the edge of the ramekin to release the flan. Invert a small dessert plate over the ramekin, turn it over, and gently remove the dish. You should have a creamy, picture-perfect flan crowned with a syrupy golden caramel.
  • Variations
  • Flan is a perfect canvas for a dessert-lover who enjoys experimenting with flavors!
  • Vanilla flan can be made marvelous by using a vanilla bean in place of the extract.
  • Slice the bean in half, scraping out the seeds with the tip of the paring knife.
  • Add the vanilla bean and seeds into the warming milk and let it infuse; remove it before whisking the hot milk into the eggs
  • Mixing approximately 1/4 cup of ground coffee into the warming milk mixture makes coffee-flavored flan--but be sure to strain the coffee grounds out of the flan before baking.
  • To make chocolate flan, use the same method as you would for chocolate ganache: pour about a third to half a cup of chocolate chips in a mixing bowl.
  • Pour the boiling milk mixture (you may wish to reduce the sugar in your recipe) over the chocolate.
  • Cover, and let soften for about five minutes.
  • Whisk until smooth. Whisk chocolate mixture into eggs, and continue as above.

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    " It was excellent "
    borius ate it and said...
    Flan is such a wonderful treat, one of my faves. Your recipe is quite descriptive and very helpful to a flan novice like myself. Thanks for cluing us in on the options and techniques. Very well done.
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  • organicmama 10 years ago
    I love the looks of flan, I have never tried it and want to. Thanks so much for sharing this. Maybe you will motivate me.
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