Words and pictures from the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Flan de Leche
I was given this recipe in 1962 by Senora Diaz, a Cuban refugee who was my neighbor when I was at University of Florida. It’s been a favorite for our family ever since – and I always double (or triple) it. Last night I took it along (a triple recipe) to serve as dessert at a pizza party out in Shelton Laurel.
1 can condensed milk (sweetened condensed, NOT evaporated -- there's a real difference) (I use one can nonfat to two cans regular when I triple the recipe) Water 4 eggs 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl mix the condensed milk with an equal amount of water, using the empty can as a measure. Beat the eggs and add them. Mix all together thoroughly. Add vanilla and mix in well. Set mixture aside.
You will need a lidded ovenproof container (I use corning ware) to bake the flan in and you will need a larger pan. Put the container in the pan with a few inches of water and heat on top of the stove.
In a heavy frying pan, melt the sugar over high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Sugar should begin to foam and smoke. Take from heat at once for a sweeter, less bitter caramel coating or let darken a bit according to your preference. (we like it darker – kids usually prefer it lighter.)
Now pour into your heated mold and turn to coat sides. Return mold to water bath and pour in egg and milk mixture. Cover mold (foil works too), then cover water bath, put in oven and bake till a knife comes out clean, 45 minutes to one hour or a good bit longer for larger quantities and depending on the type of mold you have used. Test frequently because the lovely silky texture will be lost if you overcook (though the flan will still taste good.)
Best very cold, therefore make it the day before and chill overnight.
Almost everyone loves this stuff and it is really, really easy!!
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