Mexican Flan

The Cinco de Mayo holiday is almost here. That is the Mexican holiday that we Americans love to celebrate with beer and margaritas. I do like margaritas and that sounds really good. However, I like the idea of a dessert to honor the day, namely Mexican Flan.

Flan is a sweet custard dish made with caramelized sugar and baked in the oven in a water bath. Like a lot of recipes it can be found as far back as ancient Rome. It was originally a savory dish. It was in Spain that it became a sweet dish with the caramelized sugar. After being brought to Mexico by the Spanish, this dish has become especially associated with Mexico. For a short and interesting article on the history of Flan see this.

Cinco de Mayo doesn’t celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain but their victory over France in an important battle in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. This was during the French-Mexican War. For more information on Cinco De Mayo see this article.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Cooking with Alia.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

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Mexican Flan

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

1 cup granulated white sugar
5 large eggs
1 can condensed milk (14 ounces)
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups half and half milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat the sugar over medium heat. Shake and swirl occasionally to distribute sugar until it is dissolved and begins to brown. Lift the pan over the heat source (4 to 6 inches) and continue to brown the sugar until it becomes a dark golden brown. You may slightly stir while cooking, but continually stirring causes the sugar to crystallize. Carefully pour caramelized sugar into a 1 1/2 quart baking pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Set the pan aside. The caramel will harden in the bottom of the pan.

In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, condensed milk, the heavy cream, half and half and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until blended. Don’t over mix. With a sieve, strain the mixture over the prepared caramel.

Place the pan with the flan mixture in a larger pan and place in the oven. Then pour hot tap water until the water reaches half the height of the flan pan. It’s much easier to do it this way than moving the pans around when water is in.

Bake the flan for around 1 hour or until set. To check for doneness, insert a knife in the center. If it comes out clean the flan is ready. Very carefully, remove the pan from the water bath and cool completely on a wire rack. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, run a knife around the edge of pan. Place a serving plate slightly larger than the pan on top of it, flip, then give it a shake. Slowly remove the pan from the flan. And there is your flan with a beautiful caramel topping.

flan

Note: When making this recipe, allow enough time for it to chill overnight before serving.

Be sure to have your favorite cerveza or margarita to celebrate the day and to end it with a slice of flan to make the holiday more festive. Happy Cinco de Mayo Day.

flan 1

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