My kids recently had flan for dessert after a meal at a local Mexican restaurant and have been begging me to make it for them ever since. Flan is a unique dessert in that it appears on the dessert menus of many different countries and for that reason, there are many variations of this classic dessert. I grew up eating my mom’s flan which was extremely light and silky in texture and the flan the kids had at this particular Mexican restaurant was smooth, but the texture resembled more of custard. After doing some research on the internet, I decided to try out Rick Bayless’ recipe for Classic Flan. Initially I was concerned that using condensed milk would make the flan too dense, but I was proven wrong. Although the baking process was certainly very labor intensive, the finished product was beautiful and it tasted even better than it looked.
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups milk
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
– Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place the oven rack in the middle section.
– Heat 4 cups water to a light simmer and set to the side.
– Pour ¾ cup of sugar into a small saucepan and slowly pour 1/3 cup of water over the sugar, evenly moistening the sugar.
– Heat on medium-high until mixture comes to a full boil, then reduce the heat to medium/medium low and boil without stirring until liquid begins to turn a golden color.
– Slowly swirl the pan over the heat until the syrup becomes deep amber in color, then pour the caramel sauce into your flan dish (I used a glass Pyrex pie dish).
– In another sauce pan, mix the remaining sugar, milk and condensed milk over medium heat. Stir until it begins to simmer, then remove from heat.
– Whisk the eggs and egg yolks in a separate bowl, then mix in the heated milk mixture and vanilla to the egg mixture.
– Pour this mixture into a strainer to get rid of all the air bubbles and pour into your baking mold/dish.
– Put the flan on a large baking sheet and then pour warm water into the baking sheet (the water reached about half the height of my pie dish).
– Bake the flan for about one hour, then let it cool for another hour in the warm water bath. Refrigerate at least four hours before serving.
*Adapted from recipe by Rick Bayless for Frontera Grill.