French Flan is a bit like a Crème Caramel, and shouldn’t be confused with an English Flan, as the two are completely different. The beauty of this dish is that not only is it delicious, but it’s also quick to make, and is a fab last minute dessert as you’ll nearly always have all the necessary ingredients at home, making it a lovely cheap sweet too 🙂
Flan should be eaten warm or cold, but not boiling hot. You’re unlikely to find the traditional flan dish in the UK, as it needs to be at least 15cm deep, so we use an oven-proof Pyrex bowl.
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- Milk - 500ml (full-fat)
- Sugar - 120g (granulated or caster)
- Eggs - 3
- Vanilla - 2 tsp (extract or paste)
- Water - 2 tbsp
- Sugar - 3 tbsp (granulated or caster, heaped)
- Boil the milk with the 120g of sugar and the vanilla in a saucepan
- Prepare the caramel by melting the 3 tbsp of sugar and some water in a smaller saucepan on a medium heat
- Whisk the eggs well
- Slowly pour the boiled milk into the eggs while stirring vigorously
- Pour the caramel into a Flan tin or a deep Pyrex bowl
- Pour the mix of boiled milk and eggs on top
- Cook in the oven for 15 minutes at 210ºC
Put the oven on at full whack. Get all your ingredients ready.
Pour the milk, the 120g of sugar and the vanilla into a saucepan and cook everything on a high heat, until it starts to boil. Stir once or twice during this time so the sugar doesn't stick to the bottom. When the milk starts boiling turn the heat off straight away as the milk will rise almost instantly.
While you're heating the milk you can start preparing your caramel. Pour the 3 heaped tablespoons of sugar and the 2 tablespoons of water into a smaller saucepan. Cook on a medium heat until it becomes brown (see picture further down).
Meanwhile whisk the eggs well in a big heat-proof bowl. When the milk is boiled, slowly pour it into the whisked eggs, while you stir vigorously. The eggs are cold and raw whilst the milk is boiling hot, so you don't want to pour too quickly, especially at the start, or you'll end up with an omelette 😉 Halfway through you can pour the milk faster.
You just need the caramel to be ready now. As soon as it starts turning brown you will have a very nice smell in your kitchen. But you need to cook it some more, until it looks like the picture below. Once it looks like this, turn the heat off and pour the lava-hot caramel straight away into a very deep Flan tin (15cm deep) or an oven-proof Pyrex bowl. Don't cook the caramel any more than this or it will quickly burn and become very bitter. Don't leave it in the saucepan either or it will quickly solidify.
Pour the mix of boiled milk and eggs into your Flan tin / oven-proof Pyrex bowl.
Cook in the oven for 15 minutes at 210ºC.
Rest it for a minimum of half an hour before serving some portions into individual bowls. Enjoy!
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