Smooth and creamy baked custard topped with caramelized sugar sauce.
Ok, well I’m not actually in Argentina… But if I close my eyes just so, and take a big bite of this sinfully creamy and lush flan, I can just imagine I’m there. We all have those desserts that are so much more to us than just a dessert. They are a tradition, they evoke memories, they symbolize a moment in our lives. This is one of those desserts to me.
A perfectly smooth and creamy custard made out of condensed milk (enough said!) and eggs with a layer of caramelized sugar sauce dripping over the top.
My husband and I met each other in New Zealand. I was a Canadian travelling and working in New Zealand, and he was an Argentinian doing the same. We met through mutual friends from Brazil. It was an international affair, literally. I won’t bore you with all the details, but after managing to overcome our mutual shyness, something clicked. And that was it, we’ve been together ever since that day, and now we’re married with a little sidekick.
But first, rewind about ten years to when we were dating. I wanted to learn everything I could about Argentina, the customs, the culture and of course, the food! This flan was the first “Argentinian” dish I made, so it has special meaning to me.
Now I don’t want to offend anyone, so I will offer my disclaimer right now: I know that flan doesn’t belong exclusively to Argentina. It is made with love in Puerto Rico, Brazil, Spain, the Philippines… I could go on. This is about how I learned to make flan and what it means to me.
Before we get to the recipe, I’d like to offer up a few tips and tricks:
- Swirl, don’t EVER stir, that sugar while it’s melting. Swirl, swirl, swirl, and swirl some more. Swirl again. And swirl. Keep swirling. Do you hate the word swirl yet? Good, then swirl some more.
- This step also involves swirling. Please don’t be angry with me, it’s just the way the recipe is. Pour the melted caramelized sugar into your pan or dish and quickly SWIRL it all the way around the sides.
- Strain your flan mixture before pouring on top of the caramelized sugar sauce. This ensures you catch any little strings of egg that could get in the way of your completely smooth flan result.
From Argentina With Love Flan
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 cup cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°. Select the baking dish you would like to bake your flan in. Any kind of baking dish or pan will work (I used a loaf pan).
- Get your bain-marie ready. Place your baking dish inside a roasting pan. You will need to pour the caramel sauce and flan mix into the baking dish and cover with foil. You will then need to pour very hot water into the roasting pan around the covered baking dish.
- Gently beat the eggs with a fork, or mix together on low speed with a hand-held mixer. Add in the rest of the ingredients, just mixing together until smooth.
- Start melting the sugar in a medium sized saucepan over medium-low heat. As the sugar starts to turn colour, very gently swirl the pot to keep the mixture moving and melting. Keep swirling and melting until the sugar is liquid and golden amber in colour.
- Immediately pour into your baking dish tilting the sides to make sure the caramel sauce coats the sides and bottom of the dish.
- Pour the flan mixture through a strainer on top of the caramel sauce.
- Cover the baking dish with foil. Pour hot water into the roasting pan around the baking dish. Carefully transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 1 hour, until the flan is done and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Cool completely in the fridge, at least one hour.
- When ready to serve, gently slide a knife around the edges of the flan. Invert the baking dish onto a serving plate. The caramel sauce will drip down the edges of the flan and make a beautiful pool on the plate. Yum!