I am pretty proud of this one. This was my first time making flan and the internet could really freak you out about overcooking it and making sweet scrambled eggs. I read all the tips and tricks and settled on a simple recipe and checked on the flan every 5 mins to not overcook it. Besides the excessive checking and worrying – making flan is surprisingly easy. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the first few steps. I made one large flan in a 9 inch pan but you can use ramekins also just cut down the cooking time. Do not use a cheesecake or tart pan with removable sides or bottoms as the filling will leak out and you will get flan water.
First prepare your pans. You will put your 9 inch pan inside a larger roasting dish. I put a kitchen towel on the bottom so it would neither slide around and to protect the bottom from overcooking.
Then you make the caramel. I forgot to take a picture of it cooking but its just 2 cups of sugar and one cup of water. You put it in a saucepan on med heat and do not stir it. Just let it cook by itself about 15 mins or so. When it starts to get light brown watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. I left it on the lighter side as a light caramel is much better than a burnt one. Then pour it on the bottom of your pan. You can see the color here. Do this first so it hardens a bit before you pour in the filling.
Then make the filling. 2 – 14 oz cans of condensed milk and 2 – 12 oz cans of evaporated milk. 2 whole eggs, 5 yolks, and 1 tsp of vanilla. Whisk until just incorporated because you want to avoid air bubbles.
Pour into the pan with caramel. Pour it gently so it doesn’t mix the two together.
Place this in the larger roasting pan and pour in water until halfway. I did not use boiling water just warm because it did not want to curdle the eggs.
Place this in an oven at 325. In retrospect I would have put it in the oven without the water first and then poured in the water as it was kind of difficult for
me my husband to transfer it to the oven.
After about 1 hr 15 min it was just jiggly in the middle but not water-y. Kind of like wobbly jello. I checked on it every 5 min after 30 min which may have been overkill BUT it was not overcooked so it was worth it. I cut around the edges with a butter knife to loosen it.
I refrigerated it overnight and then let it come to almost room temperature so the caramel would warm up and not stick so much to the bottom of the pan. Then invert it onto a plate.
Looking at the texture you can see it is very smooth. Only a few bubbles in it and not curdled. You can spoon some sauce over it after you put a slice on a plate. It was like 95% perfect – silky and creamy. Not bad for a first try after the internet horror stories.
In case you are curious. This cottage cheese texture is what you are trying to avoid.