This is probably the easiest creme caramel flan recipe out there. No heating up the oven or even using a steamer (which I know some people do) to make this delectable and luscious dessert. And the best part? This is quite a jiggly creme caramel flan, even after being in the fridge for many hours. Something the kids (even the adults) would swoon over.
- 2 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 can evaporated milk (or 1 1/2 cup milk/half and half/ heavy cream)
- 1/2 cup condensed milk
- 1 packet (about 2 1/2 tsp) gelatin (bloomed in 4 tbsp water)
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- about 1/2 cup sugar (for the caramel)
- about 4 tbsp cold water (for caramel)
Start with making the caramel. Put about 1/2 cup of sugar into a saucepan and cook into medium heat. Once you see some caramelizing, stir the sugar until it reaches a golden brown caramel color, about 3-5 minutes. Keep looking as it can brown very fast.
Once it evenly browned, turn the heat off and pour about 4 tbsp of water. Be careful, it will splash, so make sure to take some precautions and do it gently and as safe as possible. The caramel will start to solidy once the cold water is introduced. That’s ok. Place the saucepan back into the stove and use medium heat to liquify it again.
Keep stirring until all the solid bits of caramel are gone. I was told that this process prevents the caramel from solidifying once placed in the container. If baking or steaming, it’s fine to let the caramel solidify as it will come back into liquid state once baked or steam. But since we’re not doing either, this prevents it from having a rock hard caramel at the bottom of the pan.
Pour the caramel into the container/pan. I used a 6-inch round pan. Let it sit while the custard is cooking.
Bloom 1 packet of gelatin into 4 tbsp of cold water. Let it sit for about 3-5 minutes. Then warm it in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds until no lumps are found.
In a saucepan, pour the evaporated milk or whatever dairy milk you have. It can be half/half, light or heavy cream, or even skim milk. Using low heat, let the milk come to a simmer.
Once the milk is comfortably warm enough to touch, take ladle-ful and pour it into the bowl of both whole eggs and egg yolks, stirring vigorously at the same time. This prevents the eggs from being curdled or turning into scrambled eggs.
Then pour the egg-milk mixture back into the simmering milk, stirring at the same time. Whisking is probably more preferable than stirring, but I find that whisking results to a lot of bubbles and hence, an airy flan which I’m not fond of. Since I find that stirring vigorously also prevents the eggs from being scrambled, I prefer that over whisking.
Stir in the warmed gelatin into the custard mixture.
Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes or so.
Take the pan off from the heat, then pour in about 1/2 cup or so of condensed milk. You can certainly adjust it dependent upon your preference. Add in 4 tsp of vanilla extract or vanilla paste in as well. Stir the mixture until evenly incorporated.
Adding the condensed milk late in the cooking process just helps to make the mixture cool faster.
If preferred, you can use a strainer or cheesecloth to pour the custard mixture into the pan. This removes any lumps either from the gelatin or the scrambled eggs.
Let it sit in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours, preferably overnight.
It will look jiggly even after being in the fridge overnight. I was initially doubtful if it fully formed or not, but to my surprise when I plated it, it’s quite intact. If you try to move the plate a little, you will see a perfect jiggle which is quite cute, if you ask me.
And yes, it does taste exactly like a flan which spent about 45 minutes or so baking in an oven over a bain marie. I know I’m being biased by saying this, but I think this one is even better. It’s much lighter, creamier, and well, much easier and lesser hassle to do. This has definitely become my go-to flan recipe!