What is flan?
Flan, also known as caramel custard pudding or caramel flan, is a delicious dessert that has its roots in Spanish cuisine but has become popular in many countries around the world. Unlike panna cotta, in flan recipe, this dessert is solifified by egg, not gelatine. It is a smooth, creamy dessert made with simple ingredients such as eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla with a luscious caramel sauce that adds a touch of sweetness and richness.
Following any flan recipe, sugar is melted until it caramelizes to a golden brown color to line the bottom of the mold. Then, pour over the caramel layer a mixture of eggs, sugar, milk and whipped cream, and bake in a water bath to create a silky smooth texture for flan. Once baked, the flan is chilled, and then inverted onto a serving platter, revealing the beautiful caramel sauce on top.
Below is the flan recipe and detailed instructions on how to make it:
- 1 1/2 cups (400ml) fresh milk
- 1/2 cup (150ml) whipping cream
- 5 whole eggs, or 3 egg yolks and 5 egg whites
- 1/3 cup ( 2.2 oz or 60g) sugar
- 5 drops of vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (2.2 oz or 50g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (100ml) water
- 2 tsp. (10ml) lemon juice (half a lemon)
- Caramel sauce: Add 1/3 cup (50g) of sugar to the pot first, then pour 1.2 cup (100ml) of water into it. Heat the mixture over medium heat without stirring. If the water does not dissolve the sugar evenly, simply swirl the pot gently. Wait until the mixture boils then the sugar turns into a golden brown color, add the lemon juice, and then turn off the heat. Immediately pour the caramel into prepared flan molds before it cools down and sets.
- Under low heat, use a double boiler (or place a bowl on top of the pot, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the bottom of the pot) to heat a mixture of eggs and sugar, beat it gently using a whisk to dissolve completely and reach a temperature of 140-160°F (60-70°C) for pasteurization. Please make sure to whisk the mixture continuously and evenly, without letting the eggs be cooked.
- Heat up whipped cream & milk a little bit. Add all the lukewarm whipping cream and fresh milk into the egg mixture, and stir in one direction until the mixture is well combined. Drop vanilla extract into it. Strain the mixture through a sieve 2-3 times to remove any air bubbles and leftover egg solids.
- Pour the mixture into the flan molds that have been coated with caramel. Fill up to 3/4 of the mold's capacity because the mixture will expand during baking.
- Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C), and bake the flan using water bath method. Pour water into the baking tray, filling it up to halfway, then place the flan mold onto the baking tray. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. In case of using a steamer, remember to wrap the flan molds tightly with aluminum foil or heat-resistant plastic wrap to prevent water droplets from dripping onto the flan and creating holes on it. Prepare a steamer with water, and place the flan molds in the steamer. Steam at a temperature of 175-195°F (80-90°C) (below boiling) for about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Check if the flan is cooked by inserting a toothpick or skewer into the center of the flan. If it comes out clean without any batter sticking to it, then the flan is cooked.
- Enjoy flan with leftover caramel sauce or coffee, berry.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 100
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4.3gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 108mgCarbohydrates: 30gSugar: 15gProtein: 7g
Refer flan nutrition fact here.
Tips to make a perfect flan:
To make the perfect flan, there are a few key tips to keep in mind.
- Ensure that the caramelization process of sugar by using a clean pan, and avoiding stirring or cooking with high heat. As sugar can quickly burn and become black and bitter, it’s essential to monitor the caramelization process closely and stay attentive.
- Be patient and follow temperature instructions when baking the flan. Rushing the baking process with higher temperatures can result in a pitted and broken texture. Slow and steady baking is crucial for achieving a smooth and creamy flan.
- Allow the flan to cool down before preserving it in the refrigerator. This will help it set properly and maintain its smooth texture. Following these tips will help you create a delicious and perfectly executed flan that will be a hit at any dessert table.
How to preserve flan?
An appropriate preservation is a must to keep flan at its best condition to enjoy. Here are 2 important tips on how to preserve flan:
- Always cover the flan with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap. Ensure that the cover is sealed properly to prevent any air or moisture from entering, which can cause the flan to dry out or develop an off-flavor.
- Flan can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, but it is best to consume within the first few days. Consume the flan within 2-3 days of refrigeration for the best taste and texture.
How should flan be serve?
Eating flan at home can be that fancy! All you need is a sharp knife, a cool plate/platter and some favorite toppings.
To serve flan beautifully, follow this step-by-step guidance:
- Carefully run a sharp knife around the edges of the mold to loosen the flan.
- Quickly flip the flan mold on the plate/platter to release it out of the mold.
- Garnish the flan with toppings: berry, coffee, brown sugar, or even tapioca pearls.
Enjoy your delicious masterpiece!
Other Flan Recipes
You can try many more flan recipes. Let’s make: