I thought I’d take advantage of my two-week trip to the US to post some of the traditional Spanish recipes that I’ve been accumulating. This latest one comes from Carolina – resident Spanish expert on flan. Hers is the gold standard, and the best flan around as far as I’m concerned! Here’s what you will need:
1 can of condensed milk (14oz)
Just under 3 1/4 cups (exact measurement is 3/4 liter) of non-fat or 1% milk (do not use whole milk)
5 spoonfuls of sugar
Flanero (special pan for making flan)
Begin by heating up your milk in a small pot. You will want to watch it closely as once your milk starts to boil and rise, you will want to remove it from the heat. Once you remove it from the heat and the milk simmers back down, put it back on the heat until it does it again – you will repeat this process three times. (If you are a fan of coffee flavored flan, you may also want to add a splash of coffee to the milk at this time as well.) While your milk is boiling, cover the top with cinnamon (you can add more or less depending on your love for cinnamon – more for me!).
While your milk is heating, mix your eggs and your can of condensed milk. Once your regular milk has boiled three times, you will add it to the eggs and quickly use a hand blender to mix your eggs and milk (to of course prevent the eggs from cooking). Now you will add another several more shakes of cinnamon, mix and set aside.
Now it is time to make the caramel for your flan. In your flanero, add the majority of your sugar so that it covers the bottom, then set on medium heat. Let the sugar melt, moving it regularly so that the bottom doesn’t burn. Add the rest of your sugar as the existing sugar melts. Once all the sugar is fully melted, move it around the flanero so that it covers all sides. Now you can fill the flanero with your egg/milk mixture. Set aside.
In a pressure cooker, or a very large large pot, heat up enough water so that it reaches a couple of inches high in the pot (so that you can create a water bath – or Mary bath, as they call it in Spanish!). Once your water starts to steam, but not boil, put your closed/locked flanero into the water and cover your pot.
From here, if you are using a pressure cooker, you will wait until the water boils (steam is exiting from the top of the pot) and from there you will leave the flan closed inside for another 5 minutes. In a regular pot, it will be more like 15 minutes, once the water has begun to boil.
After this, you will need to remove the flanero and the hot water in the pot, and replace with cold water where you will then place your flanero again so that it may cool. Once the flanero has cooled in the water a bit, put it in the refrigerator so that it may cool thoroughly (and harden) over the course of a couple hours.
Once cooled, you will just need to remove the top from the flanero and replace it with a shallow bowl (you will need a bowl rather than a plate in order to hold the liquid from the caramel) and then flip over your flanero so that the flan can be served.
Thank you Carolina for sharing your delicious recipe!