First arriving on the culinary scene in ancient Rome, flan was originally a savoury dish. The dish was made sweet, as we know it now, in Spain during the early 1500's!
Perhaps due to its impressive texture (and just how delicious it is), many novice cooks are intimidated to make this creamy, baked-egg custard dessert at home. With a good recipe, flan is actually a relatively easy dessert to make -- the hardest part is the waiting!
CHEF RAMON SIMARRO'S TRIED AND TRUE AT-HOME SPANISH FLAN RECIPE
4 free-run eggs* (Chef Ramon uses Conestoga Farms eggs)
170 g white sugar* (divided into 70 g for the caramel + 100 g for the custard)
500 ml full-fat milk*
1 cinnamon stick
*TO MAKE AN EXTRA CREAMY FLAN, make the following substitutions: use 3 whole eggs and 2 yolks (instead of 4 whole eggs), use 180 g of white sugar (divided into 80 g for the caramel + 100 g for the custard), and only 400 ml of full-fat milk with 100 ml of heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat 70 g (or 80 g if making an extra creamy flan) of sugar over in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
(Do not stir until your caramel is almost done.)
Once you get a nice brown colour (deeper than golden, more like amber-mahogany, after 3-4 minutes, remove from heat and pour caramel into your mould (ideally a round flat bottom baking dish.)
Pour your milk (and, if making an extra creamy flan, your cream) into a small pot.
Add lemon peel + cinnamon stick.
Bring milk to a boil and remove from heat.
Beat your eggs.
Add 100 g of sugar to eggs.
Wisk egg and sugar mixture till smooth.
Back to your hot milk mixture.
Pour the milk into the egg mixture through a fine sieve.
Fill the mold with your flan mix.
Carefully place your flan in a deeper baking tray and move into your heated oven.
Fill the tray with tap water to create a bain-marie and cook for one hour.
Your flan is now cooked! (But not nearly ready!)
Let your hot flan rest at room temperature for one hour.
Move your flan into the fridge to cool for (at least) 5 hours.
Fill a shallow pan with hot water.
Put the flan into a hot water bath for a few seconds to loosen the caramel for unmolding.
Take an offset spatula and carefully slide it between the flan and the sides of the mould to break the seal. You may also use a thin knife for this, but be very cautious not to cut or damage the flan. Another method is to thump the sides of the mould firmly with the palm of your hand to loosen the seal between the flan and the mould.
Place your serving plate face down on top of the flan in it's mould, and holding the plate and the mould firmly with both hands, in one swift motion, flip the plate and mould over.
Lift the mould off your flan.
Now take a picture of your beautiful flan!
And enjoy your delicious flan!
Optional: show us your flan!
Tag @chef_ramonsimarro on Instagram, and @madrina.to everywhere!