Filipino Recipes: Leche Flan
Leche Flan actually means milk flan, the Filipino version of a dessert which is also popular in Spain as flan de leche. Leche Flan is ever present in almost every Filipino celebrations be it birthdays, baptisms, and most particularly the Noche Buena feast on the eve of Chiristmas Day, or December 24th. Also called the Filipino custard cake, countries in Europe has a similar desert called 'Creme Caramel', the Filipino Leche Flan is on the top 2 list of the most prepared food during the Christmas holidays in the Philippines, only next to fruit salad according to survey in my large neighborhood.
Filipinos are know for giving and sharing their prepared food to neighbors, but don't expect you will get lucky to get a whole pan of Leche Flan on these occasions. Let me tell you why. Not unless your Filipino neighbor owns a poultry with dozens of hens laying eggs daily, then leche flan is really a specialty since in cooking it you get to use only the yolks and a dozen eggs, which are quite costly, and yield is around 2-3 llaneras of leche flans ONLY. You should be real lucky if you get one. Pray that your neighbor cooked for the whole neighborhood so you will get a llanera of leche flan in that case.
Leche flan is made from egg yolks, milk and sugar mixture and since it is majorly made of egg yolk, buying this product commercially can be quite expensive. In specialty stores, a small Leche Flan will cost around 50 to 100 pesos each. However, this is a very delectable and addictive dessert due to its sweet and creamy goodness that is very appealing to the Filipino palate.
Leche flan may be enjoyed by itself and it is often used as topping for another Filipino favorite, the 'halo-halo'. So learn to cook the Leche Flan because it is really the simplest thing to make, you just need to have mixing skills and some steaming. Really, if you know how to turn on your stove, then you will know how to cook Leche Flan. Soon, you will also enjoy its goodness that literally melts in your mouth and friends and neighbors will marvel at your cooking 'skills' or your lack thereof. Kidding aside, down to business, here is the Leche Flan recipe.
The Leche Flan Recipe
Things you need:
- A steamer
- llanera or small tin molds, if you have a pie pan this will also do as long as it fits in the steamer
- aluminum foil wrap
Leche Flan Ingredients:
- 10 fresh eggyolks
- 1 can Condensed (sweetened) milk (about 390 gms)
- 1 can Evaporated milk (about 390 gms)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Caramel:
- 1 cup sugar to make a caramel
- 3/4 cup water
- lemon rind (optional)
Mixing: 30 minutes or less Cooking: about 30 minutes to 1 hour (steaming)
- Make the caramel first by putting the sugar on a shallow pan over low heat, then slowly pour the water. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent the sugar from burning. Once the mixture turns sticky and golden brown (not black). This caramel will serve as the topping to the Leche Flan.
- Pour and spread evenly the still steaming caramel in the bottom of the molds, pans or llanera.
- Mix throroughly with a spatula all the wet ingredients in a big bowl (eggyolks, evaporated and condensed milk, vanilla). You may add finely chopped lemon rind, half a teaspoon for added zing.
- S-l-o-w-l-y (with emphasis) pour this yolk-milk-vanilla mixture over the caramel in the mold or pans filling for about 1 inch but make sure there is a 1/4 inch space room between the rim and the mixture. Cover the molds with aluminum foil wrap and scrunch along the sides to seal.
- Steam the molds for 30 minutes to an hour.
- When cooked, let it cool before putting in the refrigerator. Just run a thin knife along the edge of the mold and slowly turn it upside down on a plate to appreciate the brown caramel you painstakingly cooked to prevent it from burning. Best served cold as dessert or topping to cakes, ice cream, or halo-halo.
How to Enjoy Your Leche Flan the Right Way
Do you think that this recipe is over? No. There is a proper way to enjoy your Leche flan. Don't just take a spoonful and munch on it. Take a small spoon and get a small sliver of Leche flan make sure you get the caramel topping with that spoon, then let it slide into your mouth slowwwly. Let it linger for a little while inside your mouth and and just allow it to melt in there. And it is alright to let out a nice 'yummm' or 'hmmmmnn' sound or close your eyes for a bit while you are at it. This way you get to enjoy all its creaminess and it will definitely make you want for more. Now you realize why it is worth making that Leche Flan. Try it.
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