The Perfect Flan
Last year, I promised to make my mom flan for her birthday. But like most things in 2020 that plan blew up BIG TIME. Instead of celebrating with us, my ever so cautious mother spent it at home, sick with COVID. Needless to say, it was a scary time for me. I pretended to be calm, but I was worried.
Fortunately, my mom was one of the lucky ones. She was only sick for a few days. To be safe, we didn’t see her until she was symptom free for six weeks. At that point, I was busy taking care of a two-week old baby. Needless to say, birthday celebrations went to the wayside.
Fast forward 5 months. I finally have the time to make my mom that pan of flan and celebrate her life. Since Mother’s Day is right around the corner this recipe is perfect. Even if it isn’t your mom’s birthday, every day is the perfect day to eat flan and celebrate mom.
The Perfect Flan
Caramel for Flan
1 ½ cups sugar
1T. corn syrup, optional
Water to a sandy paste
Place the sugar in a pot and carefully add enough water to bring it to a sandy paste. Add the corn syrup. Make sure your pot is very clean. Do not let the sugar splash up onto the sides of the pot, as this can cause the sugar to crystalize. Cook over medium heat, washing down the sides of the pot with a clean pastry brush, as needed. Once the sugar has melted, turn the heat to high and cook to a medium caramel. Pour the caramel into the bottom of a 8” square cake pan. While the caramel hardens, prepare the flan.
Custard for the Flan
18 ounces half and half
10 ounces condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325F. Combine the half and half, condensed milk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour the flan mixture on top of the hardened sugar.
Fill a large pan with enough water so that the water comes up 1/3-1/2 way up the sides of the flan pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the flan is set. When it’s done it will jiggle like jello. Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Remove the foil and allow to cool. Once the water is no longer hot, remove the pan containing the flan. Allow to cool completely in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before unmolding.
To unmold, press your finger around the edge of the flan to break the seal. Cover the top with a large serving dish, flip over and give it a firm shake. The flan should release onto the serving tray.
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