Now that the Farmers’ Markets are back in full force, I often pick up a carton of ten lovely brown eggs to add to my basket. Eggs are taken quite seriously at the markets. Some stands only specialize in selling eggs and of course they come in all sizes: small, medium and large.
My mom’s Leche Flan recipe calls for a big rally of egg yolks, but don’t let this frighten you away. After you take a bite, you won’t even think twice about your cholesterol increasing or your blood sugar doubling. This rich sweet, creamy caramel custard has always graced our family’s table at Christmas and Easter time. Since it only makes a bi-annual appearance, there was never any reason for me to fear its’ intense calories and sweetness. Although, after you realize how easy it is to make, you might have trouble only baking it twice a year.
1/4 to 1/2 cup of Sugar
8 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups of Condensed Milk (about 1 can)
1 1/2 cups of Evaporated Milk (about 1 can)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Grated Lime Zest (optional)
-Heat oven to 180C or 325F degrees
– Pour sugar in a 8” round baking tin: silicone or aluminum works fine
-Over a low flame, hold the pan over the heat and let the sugar caramelize. This can take a few minutes. This is the trickiest part of the recipe. You don’t want to burn any fingers and you don’t want the sugar to burn. As the sugar is melting, swirl the pan around so that the bottom and the edges are evenly coated. Put aside when done.
-In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, both milks, along with the grated lime zest and vanilla. Stir and mix all ingredients well.
-Pour into the baking pan. Cover pan with foil.
-Using a larger baking pan that can hold the flan, place it in the oven filled halfway with water (bain-marie.)
-Then place the flan inside the steam bath.
-Bake for 1 hour.
-When done, let cool and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until ready to serve. (I usually make this dessert the night before)
-When you are ready to serve it, be sure to carefully flip the flan over to display the beautiful caramelized top and let the syrup fall along the sides. I slide a knife along the rim to loosen it and then take the platter where it will be served, place it on top and flip it over as quickly as possible. Garnish with mint or berries.