- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 2 hours 30 minutes
- makes 1 (9-inch) pan
Here are some handy notes to keep in mind when making this corn flan recipe: You can replace the milk and heavy cream with coconut milk for a dairy-free option. Incorporating the husk adds a smoky, rich vanilla flavor, but if you don’t want to dry the husks, feel free to add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead. —Food52
large ears of corn
(120 grams) sugar
(15 grams) corn syrup or glucose syrup
- Flan Base
(450 grams) whole milk
(225 grams) heavy cream
(120 grams) sugar
(5 grams) kosher salt
- Heat the oven to 300°F. Husk the corn, then cut the kernels off the cob, reserving the cobs and husks. Arrange some of the husks on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake the husks for 1 to 2 hours, until browned and completely dry. Let cool and grind in a spice grinder or blender to a fine powder (you’ll need 1 teaspoon).
- Into a medium saucepan, pour ¼ cup of water. Add the sugar and corn syrup and cook over medium-low heat, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the sugar has dissolved into the water. Increase the heat to high and cook for about 5 minutes, until the cooked sugar goes from clear to light golden brown to a golden brown caramel color. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of the corn husk powder. Immediately pour the caramel into a 9-inch round baking pan and swirl until it evenly coats the bottom.
- Flan Base
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the corn kernels, corn cobs, and milk for about 10 minutes, until the corn is bright yellow and soft. Remove the pan from the heat and discard the corn cobs.
- Add the cream, sugar, and salt and stir to combine. Transfer the corn mixture to a blender and purée until smooth. You can strain the mixture if you want to discard the corn skins.
- In a small bowl, using a fork or whisk, beat the eggs until blended. Add the eggs to the blender and blend on low speed just to combine.
- Pour the flan base on top of the solid caramel. Tap the pan against a work surface to pop any bubbles (you can torch away the bubbles, if desired). Tightly cover with foil.
- For the water bath, place the pan in an ovenproof skillet or pot that’s slightly larger than the pan. Transfer the skillet with the pan inside to the oven. Fill the skillet with boiling water from a kettle until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the baking pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover (this will finish the cooking and add some color to the top) and continue to bake for 10 more minutes, until slightly jiggly but still firm.
- Carefully remove the skillet from the oven (it'll be hot!). Remove the pan from the water bath and let cool on the counter for about 30 minutes. Transfer to the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
- When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge, then invert onto a large plate. Smack the top of the pan to loosen the flan, then lift up the pan. Slice and serve.