Flan ~ A Story of a First Attempt

Raquel StecherAbout Me
Blogger at Thoughtful Eating and Vintage Brand New. Please add my to your circles.

Flans are difficult to make. The process requires much delicacy and it's so easy to turn it into a dessert disaster. First there is the caramel. If you don't get the right heat, your sugar water could turn into a dry crystalized cake or into a super thick burnt caramel. Gosh forbid that you stir! Then there is the egg custard. It's so easy to make an egg custard taste like sweetened scrambled eggs. Bleh. You need to temper the eggs and slowly add the hot milk mixture or otherwise you risk the irreversible curdling of the eggs.

Flans are scary.

I was brave and tried one anyways. I have to say that it came out pretty decent. Your regular flan would be a little darker on top. Mine was very light because I couldn't get my caramel to come out to that dark amber color that I wanted it to. However, the custard came out smooth and creamy and it set perfectly. I was very nervous about flipping the custard and breaking the flan. But when I turned it over and it came out of the baking dish without any breaks, I gasped with delight. I jumped up and down in my kitchen doing my special happy dance, much to my boyfriend's amusement.

The original recipe comes from Emeril Lagasse from the Food Network site. This one called for vanilla bean and orange rind but I stuck with vanilla extract to simplify.


1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water

3/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 quart of milk

6 egg yolks
4 whole eggs

You'll need a 2 quart baking dish and a larger baking dish that the 2 quart can fit inside of. I only had a 1-quart baking dish so I used half of this recipe.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium sauce pan, combine 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water until the sugar is fully dissolved. Heat over medium heat until the sugar becomes an amber brown. Whatever you do, DO NOT STIR. You can stir initially to combine but as the caramel heats up make sure you only swirl the sauce pan. Once the caramel is done, quickly pour it into your baking dish covering the bottom thoroughly and moving a little of the caramel up the sides. Set aside.

In another pot, add a quart of milk, 3/4 cup of sugar and the tablespoon of vanilla. Stir and heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Turn off heat and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, add your yolks and whole eggs and whisk. Slowly add the hot milk mixture. Be very careful. You don't want those eggs to curdle. Take it little by little constantly whisking.

Pour the mixture into your baking dish. Place the smaller baking dish into the larger one. Fill up the sides with hot water until it reaches half way up the smaller baking dish's sides.

Add to the preheated oven and cook for 1 hour.

Remove from oven and let side for 20 minutes. Then remove from the larger baking dish and let cool for 20 more minutes. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

When cool, run a knife along the edges to loosen up the flan. Take a plate and flip it over onto the top of the baking dish. Flip the baking dish and plate and tap the bottom of the baking dish to loosen up the flan so it comes out. Remove the dish. Serve cold.


1 comment:

Melissa Peterman said...

Yeah Happy Dance for Flan! It's always a good idea to try cooking something that looks intimidating!

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