My sister, Margaret, has always been a better cook than I. She can open any refrigerator and pantry and put an incredible meal on the table. So, when it was time to share a Caramel Flan recipe I knew that she was the one I should ask for advice. Margaret's husband was from Ecuador and he loved Caramel Flan, so she had to learn how to make it. And, since she had 4 kids within 6 years, the recipe had to go together quickly and feed everyone!
The only stove top time with Margaret's recipe is the caramel, the custard is mixed in a blender (or you can just whisk it) then pours right on top of the candy in the pan. The very best thing about this recipe is that you really should make it the day before (you can even let it set for 2 days, the caramel just soaks into the custard more).
Serve this for dessert when you make our delicious carnitas in the slow cooker!
My Sister's Simple Caramel Flan
Ingredients for the Caramel:
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons water
Ingredients for the Custard:
- 8 eggs,, room temperature is best
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 9" x 9" pan
- 1 Larger pan that the 9" x 9" pan will fit into with 1" to 2" of clearance around the sides., (I used a roasting pan.)
- Preheat oven to 325ºF.
- Put the sugar and water into a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until the syrup turns a medium amber color. Swirl the pan, do not stir. This should take about 10 minutes. If necessary, brush down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent the sugar from crystallizing.
- Immediately pour the syrup into the 9" x 9" pan and tilt the pan to cover the bottom and about 1/4" up the sides with the candy.
- Put all the ingredients for the custard into a blender and blend until fully incorporated. Or you can whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pour this mixture over the caramel in the pan.
- Put the pan with the flan into the larger pan and put this on the middle rack of the preheated oven.
- Carefully pour hot water into the larger pan until it comes halfway up the side of the flan pan. Try not to get water into the custard.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until the custard is set.
- Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
- Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
- To serve, run a knife around the edge and invert onto a serving platter. (Do this over the sink, because some of the caramel will splash out.)
Gr8 Do Ahead Tip:My sister, Margaret, loves the custard with the caramel soaked into it, so she refrigerates her flan for 2-3 days. I prefer the caramel to be more separate from the custard, so I leave mine in the refrigerator for 1 day.