Luscious Leche Flan
When life hands you a dozen egg yolks, you make flan, as the famous saying goes.
Leche flan doesn't particularly stand out on a table of desserts. The baked custard is an inch high at most, and unassuming shades of pale yellow and brown. At family parties, it doesn't hold a candle in the looks department compared to showy Goldilocks cakes or vibrant ube ice cream. However, it is the first dessert to disappear, hotly contested in the ancient Filipino tradition of taking home days of leftovers after a gathering.
Few desserts are as synonymous with Latin culture as flan, the soft caramel custard that’s served everywhere from Mexico to the Philippines. It's a dish whose popularity in Spain cuts across all borders. Rich and velvety, leche flan is the Philippines answer to Spanish flan. It's a dish for celebrations — birthday parties, graduations, anniversaries given the call for a hefty dozen egg yolks.
Flavor matters, but texture is everything when it comes to flan.In the Philippines, there are two types of leche flans (or crème caramels) – one that’s light and airy, the other smooth, dense and creamy. This leche flan recipe is the latter – made of only egg yolks, the flan is rich, silky, an absolute dream.
This dessert used to be so popular in Europe but now it is ubiquitous in South American countries, Philippines, Japan and Vietnam. Each country even have developed their own varieties of this lovely dessert, while the ingredients remains the same, the amount of individual ingredients varies which defines how light or heavy the flan will be. Cooking method also varies per region some methods are baking and some do it by steaming.
1. 1 cup of sugar to melt
2. 18 egg yolks
3. 2 cups of milk (evaporated milk can be used as a replacement)
4. 2 cups sweetened condensed milk
1. Heat oven to 375 F.
2. Place the sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, until sugar is melted and golden. Tilt and swirl the saucepan to ensure even melting. No need to stir. Once the sugar is golden in color, stand back and pour the water into the pan. It will boil and spit briefly. Quickly swirl the pan to distribute the water then pour and divide the caramel evenly into 2 ramekins. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
3. Break the egg yolks and gently mix (not beat) them. In a container, preferably with a spout, add the egg yolks, condensed milk, and milk. Stir the custard mixture in circular motion to prevent bubbles from forming. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth. Divide the custard mixture between the 2 ramekins. Cover with foil.
4. Place your covered ramekins inside a large baking dish then pour hot water into the large dish so that it comes to about halfway up the outsides of the ramekins. Transfer the whole dish in an oven bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of custard comes out clean.
5. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and refrigerate to set. To serve, turn flan over on a serving plate ending with the caramel on top.