There are a few ways I’ve made flan. My sister in law first taught me to make flan the way her mother taught her and since then I’ve asked other more experienced flan makers for their own recipes and what I’ve discovered is that there is more than one way to make a “traditional” Cuban flan.
In getting ready for Noche Buena in the coming weeks I’ll be sharing these flan recipes. I’ll leave it to you to decide which you prefer.
½ cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh is best)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
14 oz. of water (use the can from the sweetened condensed milk)
1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
1 whole egg, beaten
4 egg yolks, beaten
Ground Cinnamon (for sprinkling)
Mold or dish for flanSifter
Large pan to create a baño-maria (bain-marie)
Electric hand or stand mixer (makes things easier but not an absolute)
Step 1. Make the caramel coating.
Heat the sugar in small saucepan with the lemon juice squeeze of lemon juice. Gently roll the pan to mix the melting sugar. When the sugar mixture turns a golden brown remove from heat and pour the caramelized sugar into your flan mold (or molds if using ones for a single serving ) rolling the caramel up and around the sides of your mold. Set aside and let cool until it hardens and turns smooth.
Step 2. Prepare the flan.
In a large bowl add the sweetened condensed milk and water blend until smooth. To do so you can use an electric mixer, a stand mixer if you have one or go “old school” and use your muscles.
Next add the eggs and the vanilla and mix together until well blended.
Pour the egg mixture into your mold use a sifter to catch any bits of egg that didn’t blend. If you skip this step your flan will have cooked bits of egg that will mess with the flan’s texture. (Trust me.)
Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Next cover your “mold-dish” with aluminum foil. Make the foil as tight and secure as you possibly can get it.
Place your flan in an ovenproof dish or baking pan and fill with hot water to about half-way up the sides.
Step 3. Bake
Bake for 45 minutes, at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While your flan bakes watch the water level as it can evaporate. If this occurs simply add more hot water.
Step 4. Chilltime!
Once fully baked remove the flan from your oven and let it cool at room temperature, then refrigerate it until it’s cold. You can leave this overnight or until you’re ready to serve.
When ready to serve run a knife around the edges of the flan and invert it onto a platter or if you used small molds onto a small dish (just make sure it’s got plenty of room for the caramel.