If there are what you call superstars in the world of food, I would probably say that the Leche Flan (Filipino Creme Caramel) is very fitting to be on that list.
A typical Filipino special occasion or a large gathering would rather be gloomy and lacking if there are no desserts, and more especially if there’s no leche flan to be found anywhere. If you also feel that way, it is not a surprise at all because who doesn’t want this delectable dessert that tastes like heaven, and looks like heaven?
This article shows you how to make heaven come down to earth, because you will learn how to make this super tasty treat! Every special occasion or special gatherings you host from now on will always have that bright undertone because of the irresistible silky smooth leche flan.
You can even give these as gifts for the people who are special to you to show them your love! Continue to read below to see some tips and trivia about the Leche Flan.
What is Leche Flan?
The Leche Flan is a famous custard that is made out of simple ingredients, really. It is commonly composed of egg yolks, condensed milk, and evaporated milk. The one that makes it special is the luscious caramelized sugar that sits and overflows on top of the custard like a syrup.
This famous dessert has been existing in the world–bringing bright and sweet smiles–for quite some time now. The earliest recorded existence of this in history was during the times of the Roman Empire.
They were one of the first civilizations to domesticate chicken, and the production of eggs also grew as a part of that. With that, they invented many different types of egg-based dishes.
How to Make Leche Flan?
After all the glorifying words over this dessert–which you know I am not lying about anyway–you might think that this is a super hard dessert to make. Well, you’re in luck, because making the Leche Flan is not that hard.
With a little bit of patience and careful work, you might even make a successful leche flan even if you’re just a beginner. There’s no better feeling after making a successful delicious dessert, after all!
When beating the eggs and when mixing the milk into it, it is important to just do it carefully and slowly, because the goal is to have a consistent mixture of all the ingredients without forming any bubble on it. And lastly, all you have to do is to steam it.
There are other methods which involve baking the leche flan, but steaming it is the more common procedure.
Methods to Caramelize Sugar for Leche Flan
- When making the caramelized sugar. In this recipe, we are going to cook all of the sugar in a large thick-bottomed pan. Swirl the pan regularly to avoid the sugar from crystallizing. Remember to transfer it quickly to a llanera (leche flan mold) because it can be hard quite easily.
- Another way you can do it is to already place them in each individual llanera and caramelize the sugar from there by setting it into the stove, just distribute the sugar evenly depending on how many you want to make. Use tongs to rotate the llanera regularly to avoid them from crystallizing.
- An interesting and uncommon method is to microwave the sugar, instead of cooking it on the stove. Pour all the sugar and mix it with a small amount of water and set the microwave to high. Wait until the sugar turns into liquid like a syrup, and then quickly transfer it to the llaneras.
Other Versions of Leche Flan
This recipe gives us the most basic ingredients to make the Leche Flan. But there are other variations you can try if you want to have a different taste in it! All you have to do is to add these into the mix of the ingredients.
Don’t worry, all of these are still very delicious. Or maybe you can try to invent other flans of your own? Here are some examples:
- Coffee Flan
- Coconut Flan
- Banana Flan
Notes on Ingredients
The lemon zest is an optional but a useful ingredient if you prefer to have that subtle citrus flavor for the leche flan. It also removes that “eggy” taste and smell from eggs which are not as fresh.
If this is not available, alternatives you can use are calamansi or dayap zest. Just be sure to strain it before pouring it into the llaneras, so it would not discolor the leche flan.
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Classic Leche Flan Recipe
- 12 pcs egg yolks
- 1 can (390 g) condensed milk
- 1 can (365 ml) evaporated milk
- 9 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon zest (or calamansi/ dayap zest), optional
- In a thick-bottomed pan, add-in the granulated sugar. Cook in low to medium heat until the sugar dissolves and caramelizes (turned into liquid). Swirl the pan often to cook the sugar evenly.
- Quickly transfer the caramel evenly into leche flan molds (llanera). Set aside.
- In a bowl, add-in the egg yolks. Beat the eggs using a fork or a whisk. Do it slowly to avoid forming bubbles.
- Pour-in the condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and lemon zest (if available). Mix slowly until well-incorporated.
- Pour-in the mixture evenly into the leche flan molds. Cover each leche flan mold with aluminum foil.
- Transfer and the molds into the steamer. Steam for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Let it cool down then chill in the refrigerator afterwards.
- Invert the leche flan molds into a serving plate to transfer the flan. Serve and enjoy!
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