When you think of Hispanic food, what are the first things that come to mind? Depending on your background and where you live in the United States, you might think of ceviche, tamales, or empanadas, but what about flan? Flan, part of any good book of recetas de postres, got its start thousands of years ago at the height of the Roman Empire, according to HolidayCook.com, a website all about different food and its history.
After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 CE, the original flan recipe spread out across Medieval Europe, famously finding a home in Spain. When the Spanish began colonizing the New World in the 15th century, they brought their flan recipe with them, passing it on to colonists throughout Latin America. Hundreds of years later, flan is one of the most well-known dessert dishes in Mexico. If you want to know why exactly Mexican-style flan is so famous across the world, you’ll just have to make some and try the magic for yourself. (Note: This recipe has been adapted from Chelsie Kenyon’s “Easy Flan Recipe.”)
- 1 and 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon powder
- Zest of one orange, lemon, or lime
- 1 cup orange, lemon, or lime juice, not from concentrate (Note: juice from concentrate will be too sweet as a syrup)
- 6 eggs, large and preferably free-range for flavor
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (spring for the real stuff!)
- 1 small can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 small can of evaporated milk
Let’s Finish the Flan Recipe!
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fill a glass or metal cake-pan halfway with lukewarm water.
- Heat a small saucepan over medium heat, and add a cup of the sugar. Stir the sugar until it browns and becomes a caramel. Evenly distribute the caramel between six six-inch oven-proof ramekins.
- In a separate saucepan, combine the citrus juice and cinnamon over high heat. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat. Let the mixture simmer and reduce until it becomes syrupy. Remove from heat.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milks, zest, and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Whisk them together until the consistency is smooth and not bubbly. Evenly distribute this custard mixture between each ramekin.
- Place the ramekins into the pan full of water, and place the pan in the oven. Allow the flan to cook for 50 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and allow it to cool before placing it into the refrigerator. Let the flan chill for at least an hour.
- When it’s time to serve the dessert, turn each flan out of its ramekin onto a small plate. Drizzle some of the orange syrup atop each flan to complete the dish.
While there are a number of steps to completing this flan recipe, I think you’ll find the flavors and the authentic texture of the dessert are well worth the effort. As with everything else, feel free to tweak this recipe to fit your tastes!