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flan al caramelo (caramel custard)

Recipe by
Vicki Butts (lazyme)
Grapeview, WA

Flan is a baked custard dessert from Spain that falls in the same category as crème brûlée and pot de crème. Flan has a unique twist, though. It has a layer of caramelized sugar on the bottom of the ramekin that then becomes the top when you invert it onto the plate, which then blankets the incredibly smooth and silky custard in a delicious caramel sauce. It's best made a day in advance.

yield 6 serving(s)
prep time 15 Min
cook time 55 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For flan al caramelo (caramel custard)

  • 1/2 c
  • 6 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 3
    whole eggs
  • 2
    egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 c
  • 1/8 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp
    grated lemon zest
  • whipped cream, optional

How To Make flan al caramelo (caramel custard)

  • 1
    To caramelize sugar, in a small heavy saucepan, cook 1/2 cup sugar and water over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the syrup turns golden in color (the sugar will crystallize before it liquefies). Immediately pour the caramel into the bottom of 6 individual custard cups so that it's about 1/4-inch thick.
  • 2
    Allow the caramel to cool completely before pouring in the custard.
  • 3
    Preheat the oven to 350 F. Whisk the whole eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl until uniform in color.
  • 4
    Whisk in the milk, remaining sugar, salt, and lemon zest.
  • 5
    Divide the mixture among the prepared cups.
  • 6
    Place cups in a baking pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up their sides.
  • 7
    Bake about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the custard comes out clean.
  • 8
    Remove cups from pan and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  • 9
    Run a knife around the edge of each cup and unmold the flan, spooning the caramelized sugar over it. Take a serving plate and place over the top of the ramekin. Holding both the plate and the ramekin, turn upside down so the plate is on the table. Gently lift the ramekin off. If the custard won’t come out, gently tap the top, or leave for a few minutes. Gravity will win in the end and it will come out.
  • 10
    Serve with the whipped cream, if desired.
  • 11
    Cleaning tips: To clean the sugar pot, fill it with water and bring to a boil. This will remove any sugar stuck to the insides of the pan. There's going to be a layer of hard caramel on the bottom of your ramekins after unmolding, so this is how you clean them. Place the ramekins in a deep pot, fill it with enough water to completely cover them, and bring the water to a boil. Simmer the ramekins for about 10 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let them soak for about 30 minutes.

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