Most flan recipes that I have made have turned out to be what they call Crema Volteada here in Peru. This recipe is the more traditional flan topped with a homemade caramel syrup.
For the Caramel:
1/3 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons of water
squirt of fresh lime juice
For the Flan:
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 1/4 cups of whole milk
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of toffee extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9-x-13-inch baking dish with a double thickness of paper towels. Put a metal 8-x-2-inch round cake pan (not a nonstick one) in the oven to heat while you prepare the caramel.
- Stir the sugar, water and lime juice together in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Put the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar becomes an amber-colored caramel, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the cake pan from the oven and pour the caramel into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the caramel evenly over the bottom; set the pan aside.
- Bring the cream and milk just to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk vigorously for a minute or two, and then stir in the vanilla. Whisk in about one quarter of the hot milk to temper the eggs. Then slowly whisk in the remainder of the milk mixture. Using a large spoon, skim off the bubbles and foam.
- Put the caramel-lined cake pan in the roasting pan. Pour the custard into the cake pan and slide the baking dish with the cake pan into the oven. Pour boiling water baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake the flan for about 35 minutes (mine took over an hour) or until the top puffs a bit and is golden here and there. A knife inserted into the center of the flan should come out clean.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the cake pan to a cooking rack and run a knife between the flan and the sides of the pan to loosen it. Let the flan cool to room temperature on the rack, then loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- When ready to serve, once more, run a knife between the flan and the pan. Choose a rimmed serving platter, place the platter over the cake pan, quickly flip the platter and pan over and remove the cake pan. The flan will slide out and the caramel sauce will coat the custard.
Yield: Serves 6-8
Source: Adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan