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Creamy Caramel Flan Recipe

Creamy Caramel Flan Recipe

You will find flan on the menu of almost any Mexican restaurant, since a smooth, soothing caramel custard makes the perfect finish to any hearty, spicy, intensely flavored main course. This version is easy to make and works beautifully all by itself or with a bowl of fresh strawberries to spoon alongside.

Rich in Omega-3 oils and the ultimate in creamy pleasure.


½ cup plus 2/3 cup sugar or Succanat
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
3 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have ready an ungreased 9-inch round or square 1½- to 2-quart baking dish.

2. Cook ½ cup of the sugar over medium heat in a heavy medium-sized saucepan, stirring almost constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon, until it is melted and turns first golden and then very dark brown, about 5 minutes. (Use extreme caution! Cooked sugar is very hot and can burn the skin if it spatters.) Immediately pour the hot caramel syrup into the baking dish and swirl the pan until it coats the bottom. The caramel will harden at this point and melt again later as the flan bakes.

3. Gently but thoroughly whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and the remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk and vanilla. Pour the custard mixture into the prepared dish. Set the dish in a larger baking pan and fill the larger pan with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

4. Bake until a knife inserted two-thirds of the way to the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. The center should still be slightly soft, as the flan will finish cooking after it is removed from the oven. Cool in the water bath, then remove baking dish from water bath and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

5. Before serving, run a sharp knife around the edge of the flan to release it. Place a large rimmed serving plate over the baking dish and, using both hands, invert both dishes so that the flan and the liquid sauce unmold onto the platter. Refrigerate again until serving time.

Serves 8.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Desserts

Adapted from “The New England Cookbook” by Brooke Dojny (Harvard Common Press, 1999). Copyright (c) 1999 by Brooke Dojny. Reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press.
Adapted from "The New England Cookbook" by Brooke Dojny (Harvard Common Press, 1999).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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12:12AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

It looks fantastic :). Thx!

10:46AM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

I used almond milk and it has such a nice flavor!! I am wondering, though, I used a 9 inch round pan, and I'm curious how you get it to pop up like the photo (and all the other flans I've seen). How do you get it to rise like a volcano?

12:50PM PDT on Sep 16, 2010

This is a fantastic recipe and delicious dessert! I've made it about 10 times now from this recipe and it turns out beautifully every time. I love that it calls for simple ingredients I already have on hand with nothing artificial and unhealthy like the condensed milk other flan recipes use. It's fun to make and pretty easy too! The only tricky part is melting the sugar just right so it doesn't singe and then getting it poured into the bottom of the flan dish before it cools (it cools FAST and gets hard like a rock before you can get it spread evenly - but it will melt again while cooking in the water so not a big deal).

I have used 2% and even skim milk before with good results but I recommend at least 2% for the best taste and consistency. I like adding a little more vanilla and a little zest of orange on top before serving to give it a light citrus note.

4:21AM PDT on Aug 29, 2010

Thank you, Annie for the recipe, can' t wait to try it.

12:40PM PDT on Apr 9, 2008

Hint: I usually save a metal coffee container after is empty. Wash it good and use it as a mold, the sugar melts right there and can be baked in the can, being careful to handle it as its very hot. Hmmm@

7:10PM PST on Feb 2, 2008

mmmm this is soooo good. I made 1/3 of the recipe and I used 2% milk instead of whole milk. I also added a dash of cinnamon. I love that this recipe calls for ingredients that a normal person would have on hand; no condensed or evaporated milk and whatnot.

7:09PM PST on Feb 2, 2008

mmmm this is sooo good. I made 1/3 of this recipe, and I used 2% instead of whole milk. I also added a dash of cinnamon. I love that this recipe only calls for common ingredients; no evaporated or condensed milk or other things that probably aren't on hand.

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