This is a traditional recipe for Classic Creamy Flan with caramel .
It’s always kind of a quandary as to what to serve for dessert when you’re having a Mexican food meal. Flan is perfect. It’s traditionally Mexican, and it’s so delicious and creamy. You might also consider (non-traditional) Margarita Cupcakes, Chocolate Oatmeal Carmelitas or Tres Leches Cake. Fried Ice Cream is another dessert that makes a great ending to a Mexican-inspired meal.
This recipe for Classic Creamy Flan comes from a new book: Treasures of the Mexican Table (Classic Recipes, Local Secrets) by Pati Jinich. This is another fabulous ethic/regional cookbook that I am excited to add to my cookbook collection. The author (Pati Jinich) hosts Pati’s Mexican Table on PBS, which is in it’s 10th season! Pati has been named one of the 100 Greatest Cooks of All Time by Epicurious and Bon Appetit and has won three James Beard Awards. So if you’re wondering if this is a good recipe for flan, then you don’t have to wonder at all!
These are great, classic Mexican recipes. Some are local specialties and others are family heirlooms passed from generation to generation.
Here are some recipes in the book that have caught my eye:
- Sweet Lime and Chicken Soup
- Double Stacked Shrimp and Cheese Tacos
- Crunchy Carne Asada Tostadas
- Guacamole Salsa
- Rice with Lentils and Caramelized Onions
- Coconut Shrimp
- Chorizo Chicken Tinga
- Beef Brisket in Colorado Chile Sauce
- Brown Sugar Carnitas
- Chiles Rellenos with Cheese
- Burnt Milk Ice Cream
- white sugar
- canned sweetened condensed milk
- canned evaporated milk
- cream cheese
- vanilla extract
How do you make Classic Creamy Flan?
The full, printable recipe is at the end of this post. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. with a rack in the middle of the oven. You will need ten 6-ounce ramekins and a roasting pan for this.
The first step is making the caramel. Heat sugar and water in a saucepan. Let the sugar melt and the mixture bubble. Swirl the pan around, but don’t stir. Continue cooking and swirling occasionally for 7 to 10 minutes, until the syrup is a rich caramel color. Divide the caramel evenly among the ramekins, tilting them so it coats the bottoms of each completely. Set aside to cool.
Use a blender to combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Slowly pour the mixture into the ramekins right on top of the caramel, dividing it evenly.
Place the ramekins in a roasting pan. Carefully pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come about 1/3 up the sides of the ramekins. Don’t splash any water inside of the ramekins! Lay a sheet of foil loosely over the pan and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until the flans have set but still jiggle a bit in the center when shaken. Remove the foil.
Let the flans cool to room temperature in the water bath. Remove the ramekins from the bath, cover each tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (and up to one week).
When ready to serve, run a wet knife around the edges of each flan to loosen it from the ramekin. Invert onto a plate and let the flan slide out, caramel drizzling on top. Serve cold.
The dark caramel contrasts with the sweetness of the custard in this classic creamy flan. This is the sort of flan you will get in a traditional Mexican restaurant.
This particular variety of flan is called, “Napolitano” because it includes cream cheese and used sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk instead of whole milk.
Enjoy every single bite of this classic creamy flan!
Classic Creamy Flan
- 1¼ cups granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, with a rack in the middle of the oven. Have ten 6-ounce ramekins and a roasted pan at hand.
- Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. The sugar will begin to melt, and the mixture will bubble. Swirl the pan occasionally, but do not stir. Continue cooking, swirling the pan from time to time, until the syrup is a rich caramel color, 7 to 10 minutes. Divide the caramel evenly among the ramekins, tilting them so that it evenly coats the bottoms. Set aside to cool while you make the custard mixture.
- In a blender, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla; blend until smooth. Slowly, so that not too many bubbles form on the surface, pour the mixture into the caramel-lined ramekins, dividing it evenly.
- Place the ramekins in the roasting pan. Carefully pour enough hot water to come about one-third up the sides of the ramekins, making sure that you don't splash any water into the ramekins. Lay a sheet of foil loosely over the pan and very carefully transfer to the oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the flans have set but still jiggle slightly in the center when shaken. Gently remove the foil- watch out for the hot steam.
- Let the flans cool to room temperature in the water bath. Remove from the water bath, cover each ramekin tightly with plastic wrap, and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill for at least 2 hours.
- To serve, run a wet dinner knife around the edges of each flan to loosen it from the ramekin. Invert the ramekin onto a plate and let the flan slide out. Serve cold.
- Flan may be refrigerated in the ramekins, covered with plastic, for up to one week.