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Jul 22, 2007 08:31 AM

Flan Question

Due to a request from some recently bereaved friends, I am faced with having to make a flan. Personally, I'm not a big fan. I've only had it in restaurants and I find it a bit "tough" on the outside. I think it might be the caramel side that is a bit "chewy". Can anyone relate to this issue? Perhaps it is easy to overcook? I do enjoy a good creme brulee (which is more delicate) and custardy desserts in general. Is there a way to alleviate this problem? Is there a killer flan recipe out there?

I'd love to make this for my friends as they've been through an ordeal and they need some comfort in their lives.

TIA for any help.

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  1. Flan really needs to in a water bath when baking it. Without it it cooks too fast and gets rubbery and has a lot of holes giving it a bad texture. Think of it as an upside down creme brulee. When you first pour the caramel in the cups or baking dish it will harden. After you pour on the custard and bake it the caramel will turn in to a lovely sauce when you invert the cups on to plates

    1. I have a wonderful flan, melt in your mouth recipe that has a coffee caramel topping. I also use a Bain Marie when baking flan and never experience that toughness you're talking about, and I do know what you mean. It is from over-cooking, if you want, I'd be happy to post it.

      5 Replies
      1. re: chef chicklet

        Yes, please post it chef chicklet. That would be great! Thanks so much.

        1. re: twodales

          nothing better than a golden egg custard in its own caramel sauce to make a traditional flan, leave the coffeeout, or flavor the caramel with a little kaluha and put cinammon in the custard...

          1/3 C sugar
          6 eggs
          7 T sugar
          2 C milk (whole)
          1 tsp vanilla
          (2 tsp of instant coffee - dissolved in the milk) for coffee flavored flan
          Larger baking pan for the Ban Marie
          Tea kettle with boiling water

          preheat oven to 350 degrees and use the baking rack in the center of the oven

          In a small frying pan melt the 1/3 Cup of sugar, melt evenly by shaking and tilting the pan rather than stirring the sugar.
          The melted sugar will caramelize quickly, so once it's melted pour it into the custard dish, or dishes. Tilt the dish or custard cups to cover the bottom completely. If the syrup hardens before you have finished all the cups then put back on the burner and it is softened again.
          Beat together the eggs, the 6 T of sugar, add the milk and the vanilla.

          Place the caramelized dish or cups in the pan on a tea towel, this helps the dish from sliding. Then pour the custard into the dish or cups/ and then carry to the oven. pour boiling water up to almost the top of the dish, about 1 1/12 and slowly push the rack in. If you can get the larger pan in the oven and the rack is pushed in even better, you don't want to slosh water into the cups or the dish.
          Bake for about 25 minutes. Check for doneness by pushing the center with the back of a spoon. A 3/8 inch crevice will form. But don't overcook.

          Remove and chill the flan at once. Once it is sufficiently chilled, run a knife around the edge of the dish or cups, and place a plate on top and flip. The caramel will spill out over the flan.

          Cut the flan in wedges or serve the individual flans with whip cream.

          1. re: chef chicklet

            Thanks for the recipe. What size pan/dish do you make your flan in? Will a quiche dish do? I have a ceramic, fluted dish that is about 12" at the top and 11" across the bottom. I could also do ramekins as I have about 8 of those. They are Le Creuset ceramic. What do you think?

            1. re: twodales

              you can use individual custards or a regular glass pie pan, the fluted dish will difficult to flip I would imagine, haven't tried that.
              The 12 inch is too big it won't cook right, might be tough..
              Something 9 inch by 9inch if square.
              Apologies for just noticing.

        2. re: chef chicklet

          Yes, definitely in a bain marie and be careful not to overcook. Another trick from my abuela: don't let the water boil. Keep checking it. The minute bubbles appear in the water, add ice cubes. You may have to do this a few times. This will eliminate any bubbles.

          No matter how it turns out, I'm sure your flan will mean a lot to your friends.

        3. I made a fllan an hour ago and hopefully it will be as good as the one I had the pleasure of tasting this week. It is a bit different. This one has you reduce the sugar and at the time that is cooling you make a yellow cake mix per directions. Also you are making the flan recipe, 1 can evaporated milk, 1 can condensed milk, 6 eggs and a dash of vanilla. When the sugar has set you pour the flan mixture on top of the sugar, then the made cake mixture. Bake at 375 for 45 -60 minutes. This is also baked in a water bath. When serving you invert on to serving plate.

          1. I think Daisy Martinez's Mexican Flan recipe is easy and great. The addition of Crema really takes it over the top -- giving it additional creaminess and richness:


            1. I've made flan only twice, but I used an epicuriuos recipe that turned out great the first time. Take the time to read the reviews for the recipe, they helped me pull it off correctly the first time. I used a pyrex pie dish and bain marie. I've never made it, but Rick Bayless has a recipe that looks promising in his "One Plate at a Time" cookbook.