Caramel custard, flan, a piece of heaven, whichever name you prefer! My mother taught the recipe to me, which is strange since she was born and raised in India; a place not known to make flan. Her ancestors, however, lived in a vibrant time when spice traders from Portugal also exchanged recipes. So, the Spanish invented it, the Portuguese adapted it, the Indians modified it, and we (first generation Americans) learned it! Our Spanish-Portuguese-Indian-American hybrid flan has become a staple in our house and is requested by everyone, from our neighbors to our international friends! I tend to impress everyone, looking like a master chef as I scrape the fresh vanilla bean and caramelize sugar over the stove-top until it’s a perfect shade of gold, but it’s actually an easy dessert to make and much lighter than other versions. This recipe is a melting pot of traditions just like America and anytime is a perfect time for flan!
344 per serving
- 4 eggs
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 14 oz.
- 1-3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract, vanilla bean optional
- teaspoons salt
- MSR 7 nutmeg, optional
- 1/2 cup sugar, for caramel
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Caramelize the sugar in a stove-top, oven-safe mold. Add the sugar to the mold and heat on low until the sugar starts to melt. Slowly move the sugar around evenly coating all the sides. Be careful because the sugar can burn very quickly! Set aside. (Note: You can use less sugar, the amount of caramel is your choice.)
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the condensed milk, water, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg (optional).
Pour the custard mixture into the cooled caramel coated mold.
Cook the custard in a water bath. Place a dish towel on the bottom of a baking dish. Place the custard on top of this towel and then fill the baking dish with warm water until it reaches about halfway up the side of the custard mold.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the flan. Remember that the flan will continue to cook for a little once removed from the oven. The flan should have a smooth texture and no tiny bubbles when it is cut. Adjust timings according to your oven, this may take a few attempts.
To serve, loosen the edges from the mold with a small knife and invert onto a serving dish. Enjoy warm or at room-temperature!