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Classic Vanilla Flan

Classic Vanilla Flan

by Ericka Sanchez

Flan, creme caramel, quesillo, or custard. Whatever you wish to call it, it's a delicious dessert everyone will enjoy. This basic recipe is great for flan newbies. Once you feel comfortable enough in preparing this recipe, you will want to customize your own flan recipe by adding ingredients such as lemon zest, orange juice or even strong espresso. The possibilities are endless. Preparing the caramel can be a bit challenging, but the best part about this dessert is that "practice makes perfect!" So practice all you want and you will have the neighbors knocking at your door because they'll want to be your flan taste tasters.

What you'll need

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


Serves 4

How to make it

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a heavy, small skillet, heat sugar and water over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Boil but do not stir, hold skillet’s handle and slowly swirl pan to incorporate sugar and water. About 8 minutes.
  3. Immediately pour syrup into 4 custard cups, divide equally. Tilt dishes to coat bottom and sides with caramel.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together eggs, milks and vanilla until smooth. Do not boil. Pour mixture into ramikens. 
  5. Place ramekins in 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Pour hot water into baking pan, half way up the sides of cups (bain marie). Bake flans for 45-50 minutes or until sides of flans are set but centers are wobbly. Remove baking pan from oven and let the flans cool in the baking pan with water. Remove from water and refrigerate flans overnight.
  6. Run a small knife around flans to loosen. To unmold, place a plate atop ramekin, hold plate firmly and invert. Shake gently and allow flan to settle onto plate.