Our traditional recipe for Flan makes the most of the creamy decadence of sweetened condensed milk and the slightly toasty flavor of evaporated milk. Heightened with rich vanilla and a touch of orange zest, this custard is a renowned classic for a reason.
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (80 grams) water
- 3 large eggs (150 grams)
- 2 large egg yolks (37 grams)
- 1 (14-ounce) can (378 grams) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (12-ounce) can (370 grams) evaporated milk
- 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) packed orange zest
- Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C).
- In a small saucepan, combine sugar and ⅓ cup (80 grams) water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, being careful not to splash sides and gently stirring frequently to help sugar dissolve. (Use a wet pastry brush to help dissolve any sugar that sticks to sides of pan.) (Do not stir once mixture starts to boil.) Cook until mixture turns a deep amber color. Immediately divide caramel among 6 (6-ounce) ramekins; carefully swirl ramekins so bottoms are evenly coated with caramel. (Sides of ramekins may be hot.) Place ramekins in a 13×9-inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and egg yolks until well combined. Add condensed milk and all remaining ingredients; gently whisk until well combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and being careful not to incorporate too much air. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl or glass measuring cup.
- Spray sides of each ramekin with cooking spray; using a paper towel, spread into an even layer and wipe away any excess. Divide egg mixture among prepared ramekins (about 152 grams each). Using a small spoon, skim off any bubble clusters on surface, if desired. Cover each ramekin tightly with a square of foil. Add enough hot water to baking pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins.
- Bake until set but still jiggly and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 170°F (77°C) to 175°F (79°C), 35 to 38 minutes. Transfer flans to a wire rack; uncover ramekins, and let cool for 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
- Let chilled flans stand at room temperature for 45 minutes. To serve, place a plate upside down on top of 1 ramekin; invert, and remove ramekin. (See Notes.) Repeat with remaining ramekins.
Often when a flan is loose and ready to turn, you can roll the ramekin between your hands and the flan will also spin slightly inside the container.
When turning out a flan, you will often hear a suction-like sound followed by the caramel sauce flowing onto the plate; both indicate your flan has released!