"Flan" is the Spanish name for vanilla egg custard, topped with caramel sauce. It is a Spanish classic and one of the most popular desserts, served everywhere in Spain. Flan makes a great finish to any meal because even though it is sweet, it is a light dessert. Because it is made in ramekins or a baking dish and not removed until it's time to eat, it "travels" well in an ice chest. Just cover tightly with plastic wrap while en route and un-mold when ready to serve!
If you prefer, follow our Easy Step-by-Step Recipe for Flan.
* To make a lower calorie flan, use 1 cup non-fat milk and 1 cup light whipping cream.
This flan recipe makes 6 servings - yields 6 individual servings in ramekins.
- 1 long-handled wooden spoon
- 6 ramekins or one large baking dish
- 1 large 9” x 13” baking dish (for water bath)
- 2 medium size mixing bowls
- 1 heavy saucepan
- 1 heavy skillet or saucepan
- Wipe out the ramekins to ensure that there is no dust in them. Set in the glass baking dish.
- Heat 4-5 cups of water in a pot on stove.
- Put a heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup sugar. With the back of a wooden spoon, keep sugar moving constantly in skillet until sugar is completely melted, and of a rich medium brown color (caramelized).
- Carefully spoon caramelized sugar into each of the 6 ramekins or large dish.
- Pre-heat oven to 325° F (162° C) degrees.
- Scald cream in a saucepan. (Keep a close eye on the pan, so the cream does not boil over.) Remove immediately.
- Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, beat slightly 3 eggs. Mix in 1/4 cup sugar.
- Stirring constantly, gradually add hot cream to egg yolk mixture. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Blend in vanilla extract. Ladle mixture into ramekins.
- Carefully remove 1-2 ramekins to provide some extra room. Pour in hot water until there is about 1/2-inch of water in the 9” x 13” baking dish for boiling water bath. Replace ramekins. (If using one large open baking dish, be sure that the dish is tall enough to accommodate the water necessary.)
- If the water level does not reach 3/4 of the way up the sides of the ramekins, carefully pour more water in. Bake uncovered in water bath for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted half way between center and the edge of dish. Note: To ensure the custard does not over-cook, check doneness after 45 minutes, then every 3-5 minutes.
- Carefully remove each ramekin from the water bath. Set on a cooling rack until lukewarm, then chill thoroughly in refrigerator. This usually takes at least 1 hour.
- When ready to serve, un-mold by running a knife around the inside edge of baking dish. Place a small dessert plate on the top of the ramekin. With one hand under the ramekin and the other on top of the place, turn over. Tap the ramekin and the flan should drop onto the plate. If it does not, carefully “prod” the flan out of the ramekin with a small paring knife. It should slide out of the ramekin onto the plate.
- Garnish with whole blanched almonds and/or a sprig of mint if desired.