Here is a no-fail traditional Spanish flan recipe and what a treat this is!
The creamy custard is so light and just mildly sweet, letting all the rich sweetness come from the delectable caramel syrup that surrounds the flan.
I like flan the lighter, traditional way without cream cheese. The cream cheese flans are more of a cheesecake. This way is more of a custard.
This flan looks beautiful and comes out PERFECTLY every time! The technique you must master is to swirl and not stir! Just remember, NO STIRRING and you will be fine!
Do NOT worry if the caramel doesn’t cover the entire bottom of the pan when you pour it into the pan. The caramel will magically spread itself all over the bottom of the flan while it is baking in the oven and be beautiful when you invert it to serve.
Flan is so famous all over the world with many ethnic variations!
I prefer the height of flans to be lower rather than higher, like this one so that the caramel syrup covers every bite!
You can also cut the recipe in half and use ramekins for individual servings.
The slideshow below shows the steps and also some different times I have made it.
- large roaster pan
- 10-inch round cake pan
- 12-inch serving dish
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 can (14 ounces) condensed milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 5 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Create a water bath by filling a large roaster pan with hot water, once inch deep. A 10-inch round cake pan for the flan should be able to fit inside the roaster pan.
- With a mixer on low, combine the condensed milk, heavy cream, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Blend and beat for one minute. Set aside.
- In a heavy large skillet pan, over medium low heat, pour in the sugar. Hold the handle of the pan to shake and swirl the pan. This will distribute the sugar until it is dissolved and begins to brown and crystalize. DO NOT STIR or use a spoon.
- Lift the pan up away from the heat source 4 to 6 inches and continue swirling the pan to brown the sugar until it becomes a medium amber color and all the sugar has dissolved.
- Pour the caramelized sugar into a 10-inch round cake pan. Swirl the cake pan to coat the bottom as best as you can. If it does not cover the entire bottom of the cake pan, don't worry! That is okay! It will spread out in the oven.
- Pour the milk mixture over the caramelized sugar.
- Place the flan cake pan inside the water bath roaster pan.
- Bake at 350° for 50 – 60 minutes. It should be somewhat firm yet a little jiggly when you remove it from the oven.
- Remove the flan pan from water bath roaster pan and set it on a wire rack to cool.
- The flan is served cold, so refrigerate it for at least one hour before you serve it.
- When ready to serve, run a sharp straight knife, (not serrated) around the edge of the flan to loosen the edges from the cake pan. Place your serving plate upside down over the cake pan. Put one hand on top of the serving plate. Put the other hand on the bottom of the cake pan. Flip it over and the flan will easily fall onto the serving plate! Slice and serve.
- Store the flan covered in the refrigerator.