How to Bake a Smooth Leche Flan Recipe

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Photo:Creative Commons

Leche flan is one of my favourite Filipino desserts. It is almost always being served in every Filipino gatherings like birthday parties, Christmas Day celebrations, New Year’s Eve celebration, fiestas, weddings, christenings and any other Filipino get together after eating the main dishes. It is also now sometimes used as toppings of other Filipino desserts like Halo-halo, puto, cakes. 


It is made with just a few ingredients with milk and eggs as main ingredients and adding dayap rinds and vanilla extract to add extra flavour on top of caramelized sugar. Traditionally, it is cooked by steaming the egg mixture in a molder called llanera. Llanera is an oval-shaped container made of aluminum.
Nowadays, baking is also added as another way of making the leche flan recipe. You can now also use other moulders like cake pans or muffin trays. I am so glad about it because living abroad, you have limited resources. It is very difficult to find stores selling llanera.
In this recipe, I chose to make a leche flan recipe in the oven and using a round cake pan that is available in my kitchen. The ingredients are the same and the preparation of making it is also the same. It is just the way of cooking it which differs from the traditional way.
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HOW TO CARAMELIZE THE SUGAR

STOVETOP
  1. SAUCEPAN – Use this method if you are not using llanera as your molder. Using saucepan, boil 3/4 cups of sugar in 1/2 cup of water in a low heat setting stirring and turning it in between to make it caramelize evenly and making sure not to burn it. Burning it makes the taste bitter which we don’t want to happen. Make sure to transfer the caramelized sugar immediately to your chosen molder once it is done because the caramelized sugar hardens very quick.
  2. LLANERA – If you use llanera as your molder, you can caramelize the sugar straight from it in the stovetop. Set the fire in low heat, put 3tbsp of sugar in the llanera molder and melt it completely. turn the llanera in between
MICROWAVE
  • Now, that microwave is widely used, you can now also caramelized your sugar in it. Using a microwave-oven safe container, combine sugar and water and put it on high for 6-7 minutes or until you can see that sugar is melted completely. Immediately transfer caramelized sugar into the molder before it hardens. Let it cool down on the side.
BAKING THE LECHE FLAN
This is my preferred method of cooking leche flan because of the availability of resources. The taste doesn’t differ. I actually think it taste even better because it is more fine and smooth. The idea of steaming is still incorporated. With baking, you need to submerged your chosen molder in a bit deep pan or baking tray filled with at least an inch of water, this is called water bath. You can also put your molder over a rack. so as not submerged in water. The water underneath will help in the smooth finish of the leche flan recipe. It prevents cracking of the leche flan. This method is also recommended if you want to make big batches of the recipe to use for big gatherings.
TIPS IN MAKING LECHE FLAN
  • Use eggs fresh from the fridge. This makes it easier to separate the egg yolk and egg whites.
  • Don’t expose egg yolks in air for too long.
  • Make leche flan by baking if you are making for big gatherings.
  • Beat the egg mixture, slowly and in one direction to avoid creating bubbles.
  • To have a smooth finish, do not overcook. It will give the leche flan holes.
  • Do not skip straining your mixture after beating. You can use any fine cloth, cheesecloth or strainer with tiny holes.
INGREDIENTS:
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar, caramelized (3/4 cups sugar boiled in 1/2 cup water)
  • 1 tsp. dayap (lime) rind
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Try this recipe too: Filipino Chicken Adobo
Photo:Creative Commons

PROCEDURE:

  1. Firstly, prepare for your caramelized sugar. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan until it will be dissolved and caramelized in a low heat setting. Make sure not to burn. Turn the saucepan in between to caramelize the sugar evenly. Then, transfer immediately and carefully in your preferred moulder. Let it cool. Set it aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. While preheating, beat the egg yolks then mix the condensed milk and evaporated milk SLOWLY and GENTLY in ONE DIRECTION using fork or whisk. Add the lime rinds and vanilla extract. Mix all together thoroughly.
  4. Sieve the egg mixture using a cheesecloth or fine cloth to strain the undissolved sugar or egg particles and get a smooth Leche flan.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into your chosen moulder (llanera/cake pan/muffin tray) with the caramelized sugar we first made. Tap a few times to let the trapped bubbles out.
  6. Cover your mixture with an aluminum foil tightly. Place over wire rack in a roasting pan or any wide baking tray filled with at least an inch of boiling water in the oven. If no wire rack available, you can put it straight over the pan. 
  7. Bake the leche flan recipe in 350 degrees Fahrenheit over 50 minutes or until the toothpick inserted will come out clean. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  8. Take it out from the oven. Let it cool down and chill in the fridge before serving.
  9. To serve, run a knife around the edges of the mold, place a serving plate on top and flip it over. 
  10. Serve it with your sliced favourite fruits on top if you prefer to.
  11. Enjoy! 

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