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It's always FLAN-day in Argentina!

Flan Casero (home-made) is something not to be missed on your visit to Argentina...or in your own kitchen. There are many variations to this classic Argentine dessert that celebrates humble ingredients, palate indulgence and culinary sophistication. A traditional flan is also known as a caramel custard or creme caramel. Definitely not to be mistaken for a creme brulee though. This much loved Argentine favorite boasts a mere five ingredients - in some cases just four. Simple, easy, delicious dessert!

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided (1 cup for the caramel; 1/2 cup for the flan filling)
  • 6 large room-temperature eggs
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 (13-ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Dulce de leche or whipped cream (as needed for topping)
  • Directions

  • Heat oven to 325 F.
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  • For the caramel: Slowly pour 1 cup of the sugar in a warm pan over medium heat. As the sugar starts to melt, constantly stir - preferably with a wooden or silicone spoon - while it heats until it browns and turns into caramel—that is, becomes a dark-brown liquid. Immediately pour the caramel into a bundt pan (about 22 cm in diameter) or in each of 6 individual custard dishes/ramekins, and carefully tilt and rotate the pan (or dishes) so the caramel swirls around inside as it cools. Make sure the whole bottom surface is covered along with about a third of the sides; you may need to use the spoon to spread the caramel. Set aside to let cool.
  • Tip: Be extremely careful; the hot caramel will make the bundt pan and dishes very hot. Handle with caution. Work quickly, as the caramel will cool and harden almost as soon as it hits the dish. Reheat caramel in the pan if it thickens too much to work with.

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    For the flan filling: In an electric mixer or with a whisk, blend the eggs together. Add all three cans of milk (1 condensed and 2 evaporated) and mix. Slowly mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, then the vanilla. Blend until smooth after each ingredient is added.
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    Pour the custard mixture into the caramel-lined pan or dishes, distributing it equally. Careful not to overfill the pan or dishes (fill about 2/3 full).
  • Place the individual dishes in a large glass, ceramic, or metal baking pan. Pour hot water into the baking pan around the custard pan or dishes to a depth of about 2 inches.
  •  

    Bake the flan for 45 minutes in the water bath. Check with a knife inserted just off-center into one of the servings; if the knife comes out clean, the flan is ready.

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    Remove the large baking dish from the oven and carefully take the pan or individual dishes out of the hot water. Let cool to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator for an hour or so. (Leave flan in the dishes they baked in until time to serve.)
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    To serve, carefully loosen the edges with a knife, place a plate over pan or individual dishes and invert onto plate - preferably with edges to catch the caramel, shaking gently to loosen from mold allowing the flan to drop out and the caramel sauce to flow over the custard.
  • Serve with dulce de leche or whipped cream on the side, or alone. Enjoy!
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