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How to make leche flan (when you don't have an oven or don't know how to operate one)
It's surprisingly easy!!!
This is one of the first things that I learned how to cook. You’ll be surprised to know that there are a lot of people who don’t have ovens or even if they do, they don’t know how to operate it. I remember when I was younger and we didn’t have an oven but my mom was still able to make incredible leche flan. When I was about 11 years old, she handed me down this recipe and since then, I have always been making leche flan for the family. Here’s how it goes…
First, prepare the caramel...
For the caramel, you'll need:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
Combine the two ingredients in a saucepan over low fire stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens and darkens in color. Turn off heat, pour on clean molds (about 5 or six regular sized ”llaneras” or ramekins). The caramel should only be enough to cover the bottom of the molds. Set aside.
The caramel should look like this:
For the flan or the custard itself, you’ll also need:
6 whole eggs
2 cups of white sugar
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
Crack open 6 whole eggs (it doesn’t matter whether it’s chicken egg or duck egg; duck eggs, however, are harder to beat and renders a darker yellow color) in a large bowl then add in 2 cups of sugar (it really depends on how sweet you would like your flan to be. This was originally my mother’s recipe but I personally shave off about half a cup from this ratio when I’m the one preparing it as I prefer it not too sweet). Beat thoroughly. After the sugar has completely dissolved into the eggs and bubbles form, add in the condensed milk. Again, beat thoroughly before adding in the evaporated milk.
In the base of a steamer, pour water up to about 1/3 of it’s depth and bring to boil.
Meanwhile, remove bubbles that have formed on top of the flan mixture then pour on caramel-lined molds. Do not fill the molds up to the brim. The water in the base of the steamer should be boiling around the time you have finished assembling the flan mixture into the molds. Once you have assembled the molds into the steamer, put cheesecloth on top of the steamer before putting on the lid. This way, the flans are protected from condensation which may not actually affect the taste but will definitely affect the flans’ appearance. Turn the heat to low then cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Before turning off the heat, stick a fork into one of the molds and see if it comes out clean. If it doesn’t, continue cooking. Don't worry. It won’t burn. Just make sure that the water boiling in the steamer base is still enough.
Cool completely. Before serving put molds on dishes upside down so that the caramel is on top.
These are basically what you'll need: (plus sugar, of course)Click thumbnail to view full-size
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 6 whole eggs
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 can condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk