In this Classic Flan Recipe, the caramelized sugar melts during baking, forming an amber-colored caramel sauce. The sauce flows down the sides when unmolded, to surround the flan in a pool. Be sure to use a deep enough platter or plate to contain the sauce.
Cooking With Eggs: Recipes for Every Meal
Classic Flan Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 to 50 minutes
1/2 cup sugar, caramelized
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
To caramelize sugar:
(Caution: Caramelized sugar is very hot; take care not to touch it.) Place sugar in small heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat, watching carefully, until sugar is melted and turns deep golden brown. Immediately remove from heat and pour into 9-inch flan dish or pie plate. Holding dish with potholders, quickly tilt dish to coat bottom completely and evenly. Syrup will harden quickly.
Heat oven to 350°F.
In medium saucepan, mix sweetened condensed and evaporated milks; heat until very hot. Milk should be steaming but not bubbling.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat eggs and vanilla until blended but not foamy; slowly stir in hot milk.
Place flan dish in baking pan large enough to hold dish without touching sides of pan. Pour mixture into flan dish. Place pan on rack in center of oven; pour very hot water into baking pan (hot-water bath) to within 1/2 inch of top of flan dish.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Remove dish from water bath at once; cool on wire rack. Yields 6 to 8 servings.
To serve warm, cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Gently loosen edges with tip of knife. Invert onto platter.
To serve cold, cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight to chill thoroughly. Gently loosen edges with tip of knife. Unmold before serving.
Garnish with strawberries and fresh mint. Cut into wedges.
Don’t skip the hot-water bath. A hot-water bath, or bain-marie, insulates the custard from the direct heat of the oven and promotes even cooking so the edges don’t overcook before the center is done. Very hot tap water will do.
When is flan done?
Baked custard should be removed from the oven (and water bath) before the center is completely set. The center will jiggle slightly when pan is gently shaken. Custard will continue to “cook” after it’s removed and center will firm up quickly. Overbaked custard may curdle. You also can test for doneness by inserting a thin-bladed knife into the custard about 1 inch from the center. If knife is clean when pulled out, the custard is done. If any custard clings to the blade, bake a few minutes longer and test again.