How to Make Flan
When you want a creamy dessert that's more sophisticated than pudding, it's time to learn how to make flan. This rich, custard-based treat topped with caramelized sugar is often associated with Spanish, Mexican or Central and South American cuisines, but flan (rhymes with "faun") is believed to have originated in Rome, one of the first places where chickens were kept for their eggs. The original dish was more savory than sweet.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the tradition dispersed into different cultures and most notably found a home among Spanish cultures, where it evolved into the sweet dish we know today.

Transcript
Hi, I'm Miranda with recipe.com, and today I'm gonna show you how to make Flan. This caramel topped custard is a popular Spanish dessert and makes a delicious ending to any meal. So, let's get started with out flan making, shall we. We're gonna start with 1 quarter cup of sugar; 4 eggs; 1 cup of fat-free milk; 1 cup of fat-free evaporated milk; another quarter cup of sugar, you do need 2 divided; 1 teaspoon of vanilla and just a dash of salt. So, I've got a mixing bowl and I have a nice little heavy skillet over here, and we're going start by caramelizing some of our sugar. So, we are going to turn our heat on like medium high, and we're gonna take this first quarter cup of sugar just pour right in here on its own and stirring occasionally just kind of shaking the skillet occasionally. We're gonna let this start melt. Do not stir it even if you feel the urge to do so. I just gonna watch it and shaking occasionally to make sure that it melts evenly. You also wanna make sure that your heat isn't too high. We're doing medium high here. We don't want to burn our sugar. We want to melt it and caramelize it. We're looking for golden brown, not black. Alright, so look how it's melting. Look how beautiful. There is no mistaking it. I'm just gonna give a few more shakes like I said we wanna make sure that everything melts evenly but this looking great. So, what we're gonna do now is just reduce our heat to low, and we're gonna continue to cook this for about 5 minute until it's nice and caramelize and golden, but again, keep an eye on it and we wanna make sure it doesn't get black or burned. We just wanted to get golden brown. Alright, look how gorgeous our sugar looks, all brown and lovely. We are now going to pour this into an 8 inch x 1 inch round pan here and look at that. Look how gorgeous and just give it a nice turn around as you do it just to make sure we got the bottom coated. We wanna work kind of quickly. Keep on going. We got all this up. Look how pretty this looks. Now, I'm going to need to use my little spatula here and if your pan gets hot make sure to use a pot holder. Okay, but just scrape this out, and I'm just gonna smooth it on the bottom here, really fast before it starts to harden, so it will cool really quickly. So, if you notice when you're smoothing it out that it's already cold and hardened. That's gonna happen really fast. It just makes caramel really quickly. You could put your little pan on top of the burner on just low, low for just a few seconds and then stir and spread out because it will harden really fast, but nothing that you can't remelt, so no harm, no foul. So, let's put this to the side. It's warm. So, I'm just gonna pop it over here, and in a mixing bowl now, we are going to combine our eggs with our milk, then our evaporated milk, some more sugar, the vanilla, and then just that little dash of salts. We're just gonna mix this all up together. Now, behind me, I preheated my oven to 325 degrees. Now, we're gonna pour this custard mixture on top of our sugar. Oh, do you hear that sizzle, delicious, beautiful. So, now I'm just going to place this pan in a larger baking or roasting pan, and I'm going to pour hot water into this larger pan just like 1 inch of depth and the pop this in the oven for about 30 minutes or until I can insert a knife in the middle cleanly. Alright, so my flan is out of the oven. I have it cooling on a wire rack. I'm gonna let it do that for about 30 minutes. I knew it was ready to come out of the oven because I was able to do this, which just insert a knife in the middle and comes out nice and clean, so we're good to go. So, I'm gonna let this cool here for 30 minutes and then I'm gonna cover it and refrigerate it for 4 to 8 hours until it's thoroughly chilled, and then I'm gonna move on to the most fun step of the flan. Okay, our flan has chilled for 4 hours. It's totally completely chilled. So, now, what we have to is loosen the edges and flip it on to a serving plate because this is actually the bottom. Of course, the nice, you know, crusty caramelize sugary that's gonna be the top. So, I'm just going to use a knife and I'm not gonna drag it like this because look it kind of like cut it. So, I'm just going to kind of dip it in to loosen the edges all the way around until it's totally loosened, looking good, okay. Just kind of give it a little wiggle to loosen it. We wanted it to be nice and loose. Look, this is looking good. Okay. Now, we're going to take a serving plate, and we're just going invert it. So, I'm going to flip my plate like this, hold it and flip. Look how beautiful it looks. We've got some yummy caramelize sugar just kind of pooling off to the side. We can just gently scoop that in the middle when we're ready to serve it. You could serve this with edible flowers like violets that looks really, really beautiful or any sort of edible flowers you can get your hand on. So, all there is left to do is just slice and enjoy or make a head tip, you can prepare this and refrigerate it for up 20 hours before obviously prepping for serving, but there you go, now you know how to make flan.
What You'll Need
  • 1/4  cup sugar

  • 4   eggs

  • 1   cup fat-free milk

  • 1   cup evaporated fat-free milk or fat-free milk

  • 1/4  cup sugar

  • 1   teaspoon vanilla

  •  A dash of salt

  •  Edible flowers, such as dianthus, pansies, or violets (optional)


Step By Step
1
To caramelize sugar, in a small heavy skillet cook 1/4 cup sugar over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking skillet occasionally to heat sugar evenly. Do not stir. Reduce heat to low and cook about 5 minutes more or until all of the sugar is melted and golden.
2
Quickly pour caramelized sugar into an 8x1-1/2-inch round baking pan, tilting pan to coat bottom (use a pot holder if pan becomes too hot).
3
In a mixing bowl beat eggs. Stir in skim milk, evaporated skim milk, 1/4 cup sugar, the vanilla, and salt. Pour into sugar-coated pan.
4
Set the round pan in a large baking pan set on an oven rack. Pour hot water into the large baking pan around the round pan to a depth of 1 inch.
5
Bake, uncovered, in a 325 degree F oven about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center of the custard comes out clean. Carefully remove from pan of water. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cover flan and refrigerate 4 to 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
6
Loosen flan from side of pan. Carefully invert onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges. If desired, garnish with edible flowers. Makes 8 servings.


Make Ahead Tip
  • Up to 24 hours ahead prepare flan, cover, and refrigerate.
While the process for how to make flan takes some time, the final product is well worth the wait. Serve it with espresso to help balance the richness. And don't be surprised when you find yourself sneaking slivers of the leftovers.
More Recipes
Sweetened condensed milk and canned coconut milk make this flan extra rich and velvety smooth. Chill the flan overnight for a handy make-ahead recipe.
Warm caramel flows over these 5-ingredient flan Mexican desserts. These creamy custards are irresistible.
This classic vanilla bean flan has a rich, satiny texture and when inverted is dripping with deep amber colored caramel syrup.
This thick, creamy flan -- Jose Garces's mother's recipe -- is a staple in his household. Garces likes to serve it alongside a refreshing salad of melon and citrus.
This inverted caramel custard dessert is found on Mexican dessert menus everywhere. This recipe is low in calories and fat.
This caramel-topped custard, a popular Spanish dessert, makes a delicious ending to any meal.
This classic baked custard with caramel topping is luxuriously rich. A stick of Mexican cinnamon gives this dessert special flavor.
Using a steamer to cook vegetable flans keeps them soft and creamy.
Impress your guests with this heavenly dessert recipe. Serve wedges of mocha flan on a pool of velvety smooth white chocolate sauce.
Caramel and coconut pair well.
Use a vanilla bean instead of extract to make the custard extra flavorful in this coffee-spiked dessert.
Don't let the unusual combination of ingredients scare you--the mild dried chile pepper and the nutmeg add subtle flavor notes to this white chocolate custard.
This 5-ingredient dessert can be pulled together in just 15 minutes.
Any flavor of gelatin would be just as delicious, but the lemon flavor of this gorgeous summery dessert provides a bright taste.
A touch of cinnamon adds a little spice to this chocolate dessert. Top it with pomegranate seeds for a pretty pop of color.

shop our favorite products