By Executive Chef John Peralta
When I was growing up my aunt used to make leche flan for special occasions. I believe it was the only thing she knew how to make, but it was the best thing on our holiday table, be it Thanksgiving or Christmas. This velvety, sweet custard with a sugary liquid caramel is steeped in Spanish and Filipino history—elsewhere known as crème caramel. It is usually made in a llanera or an oblong-shaped tin container. For this recipe, you can use a Pyrex baking pan.
10 egg yolks (reserve whites for another use such as a meringue or egg white omelet)
14 ounce can condensed milk
12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
- Set the egg yolks in a big bowl and beat them using a fork or a whisk. Add the condensed milk and combine until uniformly mixed. Add the evaporated milk and vanilla and continue to combine until the mixture is evenly colored.
- Place the sugar in a heavy bottom pot and place on low heat. Without stirring, allow the sugar to slowly cook, watching it carefully, until it caramelizes, turning a light brown color.
- Immediately remove the pot from the heat and carefully spread the caramel evenly on the flat side of the mold or glass pan. Wait for 10 minutes to allow the caramel to set, then pour the custard mixture into the mold. Cover the top of the mold using aluminum foil.
- Set up a double steamer, filling the bottom with a small amount of water and setting the mold on the insert with the perforated bottom. Turn the heat on to medium and cover the pot. Allow the flan to steam for 30 to 35 minutes or until solid but jiggly.
- Let the custard cool then refrigerate for at least two hours. Invert mold onto plate. (The caramel will coat the flan.) Serve.