Flan is a custard style dessert with a caramel sauce poured over it. It is very common in both Latin and Mexican cuisine, and is usually served cold. You might think it is hard to make, but it comes together fairly easily, and is worth all the effort. Make flan to serve with enchiladas, burritos or tacos, or as a sweet ending to just about any meal. Flan is a fun and tasty treat for dinner parties and holiday gatherings. Cuban flan is similar to the traditional version and the preparation and flavor is very similar. Be ready to give out the recipe to anyone who takes a taste of this deliciously creamy, cold dessert!
You’ll need a sauce pan to make the caramel sauce for your Cuban flan. A one quart casserole dish is necessary for cooking the custard portion of the flan. Some people prefer a “flanera”, which is a specially designed dish for making flan, don’t worry, either one works well. A spoon or whisk is handy for stirring the flan as you prepare it. You’ll also need a bowl for combining ingredients, and a baking dish for cooking it.
Not all Cuban flan recipes call for exactly the same ingredients. However, most contain the same basics: sugar, water, eggs, milk and vanilla, are the most common. Some recipes also call for cinnamon or lemon. Try out several recipes for flan to find the one you and your family likes best.
To make the flan’s caramel sauce, place a 1/2 to one cup of sugar in a saucepan. You can add about a 1/4 cup water to the sugar, if you prefer. Some people like to make caramel with straight sugar and skip adding water. Both methods work well, so use the one you like best. Simmer the sugar over a low to medium heat until it melts and turns syrupy. Throw in a couple of ice cubes, or a bit of cold water to stop it from cooking. Pour the caramel into a warmed baking dish and set aside.
To make the custard, beat two or three egg whites with five or six egg yolks. Add two cups of milk and mix well. You can also use a can of evaporated milk and a can of sweetened condensed milk in place of liquid milk. Add a couple drops of vanilla extract for flavor, and up to another 3/4 cup of sugar to sweeten the custard. Pour the mixture into the dish with the cooled caramel. Place this dish into another baking dish, and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the inside dish. Bake the flan at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Cool the flan, loosen it from the dish with a knife and invert it onto a serving dish. Refrigerate the flan until it is cold before cutting and serving.