What is flan? Flan is a classic sweet dessert made of eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla extract.
This sweet treat originated from France and it’s called crème caramel because the eggy dessert is set on top of a layer of amber-colored caramel sauce.
It’s popular in America, Mexico, Caribbean (Cuba) and Latin America. The Spaniards brought the recipe to Mexico. Simply put, flan is the Spanish version of French crème caramel.
There are many regional variations of flan recipe: Spanish, Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Argentina, etc.
Some flan recipes call for sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. My recipe is easy and the best with only five (5) ingredients.
This crème caramel recipe calls for the following ingredients:
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Flan?
First, prepare the caramel with sugar and water until the syrup becomes amber in color. Coat the bottom of each individual ramekin with the caramel sauce.
Next, make the egg custard mixture by heating up the milk and sugar. Whisk the eggs and then add the warm milk mixture and vanilla extract.
Add the egg custard mixture to the ramekins and bake in the oven. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
- Do not burn the caramel or flan sauce. It’s the soul of the dessert. Perfect caramel should be thick and deep amber in color.
- Coat the caramel sauce evenly in each ramekin. The caramel sauce should be in equal portions.
- Straining the egg custard mixture before baking ensures silky and smooth texture of the flan.
- Make sure there is no air bubbles in the egg mixture.
- To avoid air bubbles, pour the egg mixture slowly and gently into each ramekin.
- Water bath adds moisture in the oven and make sure that the caramel flan are perfectly baked and have no cracks. It also avoids the caramel custard from turning rubbery and dry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Flan vs Crème Caramel
That’s the difference between flan and crème caramel? There is no real difference as they are practically the same egg custard dessert.
In French, the name of this dessert is crème au Caramel. In Spanish, it’s called flan.
There are many variations and flavors of the recipe, for example: chocolate, coffee or coconut. At the very classic, they are made of eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla extract.
Can I Use Skim Milk or Low Fat Milk?
Yes, you can. For the best results, I strongly recommend you to use whole milk.
How Many Calories Per Serving?
This recipe makes six (6) flan, and each of them is only 314 calories.
What to Serve with this Recipe?
Serve this dessert with main entrees. For a restaurant-style dinner at home, I recommend the following recipes.
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- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups milk, whole milk preferred
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- In a small sauce pan, prepare the caramel by blending the sugar and water in medium heat. Keep stirring it until it thickens and the syrup turns deep amber in color. Turn off heat.
- Arrange 6 ramekins and add the caramel (in equal portion) into the ramekins. (Save some caramel for topping purposes.) Tilt the ramekins and make sure that the caramel is coated evenly at the bottom of the ramekins.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
- Clean the sauce pan and heat it up (use low heat). Add in the milk and 1/2 cup of sugar. As soon as the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat. In a big bowl, whisk the eggs until blended, and add in the warm milk slowly. Add the vanilla extract and do a quick whisk. Strain the custard mixture into the 6 ramekins and set aside.
- Arrange the 6 ramekins in a baking pan big enough to fit them. Pour hot water in the baking pan about halfway up the ramekins.
- Transfer the baking pan into the oven, cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the ramekins from the baking pan and let cool. Once they turn cool, transfer them to the fridge and chill them for a few hours. When they are ready to serve, slide a knife around the side of each ramekin to loosen the flan. Turn it out on a dessert plate and top it with extra caramel, if you want.
If the caramel turns solid, heat it up in a microwave for 10 seconds to dissolve it.
Amount Per Serving Calories 314Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 135mgSodium 105mgCarbohydrates 56gFiber 0gSugar 54gProtein 8g