Test Kitchen Notes
This classic leche flan recipe has a creamy, custardy base of sweetened and condensed milk, evaporated milk, and lots of egg yolks. A bit of fresh vanilla bean and a dash of salt help balance everything out, and make this flan a great starting point for getting creative with different flavor combinations.
This recipe was developed in partnership with Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs. —The Editors
- Prep time 4 hours 15 minutes
- Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes
- Makes one 8-inch flan
Pete and Gerry's Organic Egg Yolks
can sweetened condensed milk
can evaporated milk
fresh vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- Heat oven to 350°F. Combine 3 tablespoons water, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Without stirring, melt sugar until completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Once sugar is melted, turn heat to medium-low and continue to cook until it has a deep amber color, gently swirling the pan occasionally, 15 to 18 minutes. Adjust heat to low, if necessary.
- Immediately pour the caramel into an 8-inch cake pan or divide evenly amongst llaneras or ramekins. Allow caramel to cool completely.
- While the caramel cools, in a large bowl, combine egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, 1/2 vanilla bean and scraped seeds, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Very gently whisk in circular motions. The harder you whisk the more bubbles will form in your custard, leaving bubbles in the finished product. Let sit a few minutes to let vanilla bean marinate, then gently pour mixture through a mesh strainer into a measuring cup. You should have about 3 1/2 cups of mixture. Allow mixture to sit to settle any bubbles that were formed. Pour mixture into the cake pan or divide mixture evenly into llaneras or ramekins.
- Place the flan pan inside a roasting pan, then place the roasting pan in the oven. Add simmering water to the roasting pan so it surrounds the flan pan with about 1 inch of water. Bake flan until firm around the edges and still wobbly in the center, 35 to 40 minutes. Bake times will be less for a llanera or ramekins, depending on their size.
- Remove flan pan from water bath and let cool until room temperature. Transfer to the fridge and let set, about 4 hours. When ready to serve, remove flan from fridge and let sit 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and place a serving platter upside down over the top. Invert flan onto platter, scraping out any loose caramel.