Cinco de Mayo will soon be here. I’m planning a Mexican inspired menu to celebrate and thought flan would be perfect for dessert! Though the ancient Romans are credited with having created flan, the Spanish popularized this sweet custard style version that has become a staple in many of the nations that they influenced.
To make this simple recipe you fist make a caramel syrup then pour a custard over the top and bake in a water bath or “bain marie” until the custard is set. I enjoy baking this in a silicone round cake pan. Turning the finished product out when it is finished is very easy, and if by chance some of your caramel mixture has solidified at the bottom of the pan as a brittle, you can use it to garnish the flan when you serve it. For my bain marie I simply set the pan I am using in the center of a broiler pan then use my kettle to pour the boiling water in just after I place it on the baking rack of my oven.
Originally I was fond of using fresh grated orange zest to flavor this dish. However, when I tried making this with pure citrus oil, I was hooked. I love the intense flavor and convenience. Do be careful though — it is easy to over-do . If you prefer another flavor combination, you can easily omit the citrus and use whatever other flavorings you like — coconut, coffee, vanilla, and almond are among our other favorites.
Orange Cream Flan
Number of servings: 8
Per Serving 466 calories
Fat 22 g
Carbs 58 g
Protein 13 g
A simple, delicious, dessert that is both creamy and light
Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9” round pan (that is 3” or deeper) with non-stick cooking spray.
In a small saucepan, heat sugar over medium high heat until sugar melts and turns amber. Be very careful not to burn, once it melts this can happen quickly.
Remove from heat and pour evenly into bottom of prepared pan. If the sugar hardens before evening out in the pan, don't worry, it will even itself out as it cooks in the oven.
In a blender, combine the remaining ingredients. Blend briefly to thoroughly mix. Pour into pan with sugar then cover with foil.
Place pan in a larger pan that will allow you to create a “bain marie” or hot water bath. Pour warm water into the larger pan until it is half the depth of the flan mixture inside the foil pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until custard is set in center.
Remove from oven and water bath, cool, then refrigerate. When ready to serve, place bottom of pan in warm water briefly, then invert onto serving plate. Garnish with fresh orange slices.
NOTE: A bain marie (ban mah-REE) is the French term for a hot water bath