Have you ever tried flan? Flan is a sweet, baked custard made from eggs and cream. It is common in Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines. This incredibly rich recipe comes from a dear Filipino friend.
The other night we were invited to have dinner with some Spanish friends. I volunteered to bring dessert, and was planning on bringing my mother-in-law’s Mexican flan– except I couldn’t find it anywhere!
I sent an urgent plea for help on facebook, and Cricel Molina de Mesa, a friend from my high school, graciously shared her mom’s original recipe. Her mom, Cristina Molina, grew up in Manila, Philippines eating flan for special occasions. Because the Philippines was a colony of Spain from 1565-1898, they share many cultural, religious, and culinary traditions. Cricel wrote me:
My mom has a VERY simple recipe, but we love it. She mostly makes it for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and some holidays like Easter and Christmas. But she often gets requests for it and always obliges! I have found that my mom’s flan tends to be a little lighter and fluffier than Spanish flan. But I hope you and your family enjoy it!
I made the Filipino flan, brought it to share with several families (remember they were from Spain- where flan was made famous!) and they raved about its light texture and sweet goodness. It was so easy, and so delicious- the entire flan was finished before everyone had a chance to taste it (I should’ve made 2!). Thank you Mrs. Molina for sharing your recipe with us!!! Here is the recipe, as shared by Cricel:
10 egg yolks only
1 can of condensed milk
1 can of evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
“Mix the above. Her secret is to mix it with her hands. She feels that this helps prevent bubbles. She’s also used a wooden spoon to fold the ingredients. But do not beat! Once the liquids are mixed, put it through a strainer. You might need to do this step a couple of times. This helps to keep the mixture smooth. What you’ll have left in the strainer will be egg white type of substances (throw out).
Then you will caramelize 1/2 cup of white sugar using a non-stick pan. I find this the hardest part because I tend to overcook the sugar. Transfer the caramelized sugar to your baking pan. This will eventually be the top of the flan (when you flip it over to serve) but it is the bottom layer of your baking pan. Then slowly pour your liquid over the sugar. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes using a water bath. (*note from Becky: I placed a pie pan inside a rectangular pan filled with water). You can also use a steamer on the stove (if you have one big enough).
After it’s cooled, you can put it in the fridge if you want. But when you’re ready to serve, you’ll have to flip the flan: place a serving plate over the baking pan, flip it, and pat the heck out of the pan to make sure it all comes off. And you’ll have all the gooey goodness on the pan to scrape off!”
Thanks Cricle and Mrs. Molina! I am so excited to add this delicious dessert to my repertoire. Now…. do you have any suggestions as to how to travel with it? 🙂