Leche Flan is a rich, creamy dessert similar to flan. If you've never tried or are familiar with it, you probably have some questions. Learn more about Leche Flan with tips to make it better next time you make it.
Leche Flan translates into English as "milk custard." It is an egg-based custard with caramel sauce. It contains evaporated milk, condensed milk, and mostly egg yolks.
It is known as Leche Flan because it is made with milk — both evaporated milk and condensed milk. Other versions of flan combine cream and milk, such as the Spanish/Mexican Flan and the French Crème Caramel.
They are very similar. The Filipino version of flan uses more egg yolks and is usually steamed over the stovetop.
Mexican/Spanish Flan is made with whole eggs and cooked in a water bath. Flan Napolitano is a version made with cream cheese.
Yes, you can use brown sugar to make caramel. While it has more flavor than granulated sugar, it tends to burn faster and yield a darker caramel.
You can use metal, ceramic, or glass pans as long as they are the right size and shape. I like to use cake pans or ramekins for individual portions.
When the Leche Flan is set and firm to the touch, it's ready. There should be a slight wobble when you gently jiggle the pan. If you insert a knife or toothpick in the center, it should come out clean.
A flan should be creamy and smooth.
Custard-based desserts require low and slow cooking. If you overcook or cook it too fast, the mixture will curdle and become spongy or grainy.
To regulate the temperature, use a water bath when baking or steam over simmering (not boiling) water.
Maintain a constant low temperature when baking flan. If the temperature is too high, the flan will crack.
The water in a bain-marie or water bath insulates the custard. It prevents it from cooking too quickly.
Using too many eggs or overcooking flan will make it taste eggy. Make sure your eggs-to-dairy ratio is correct. Add vanilla or citrus to enhance its flavor.
The egg whites in the custard add texture and help it set. Without it, the custard will be very creamy.
As with any custard-based dessert, gentle cooking is crucial to keep the custard smooth. A water bath, also called a bain-marie, regulates the heat and prevents it from overcooking. It will also prevent your flan from becoming rubbery or cracked.
Water can ruin the flan's texture. When making a water bath, pour the water slowly to prevent splashing into the custard. If you're steaming on the stovetop, cover the molds so trapped steam doesn't get into the flan.
Yes, of course. Cover the molds with aluminum foil and steam over simmering (not boiling) water for about 30 minutes. To check if it's done, insert a toothpick or knife into the center. It should come out clean when it's ready.
Cool the flan in its mold before covering and refrigerating. It will take about 30 minutes, or until it is no longer warm to the touch. Moisture that condenses can be unpleasant.
Flan can be kept in the fridge for about three days. Take into consideration how it was handled or how long it was left out before being refrigerated. Please use your best judgment.
Place the flan in the refrigerator to defrost or thaw for a few hours. If you want it sooner, you can leave it at room temperature. It should be ready in about an hour.
Undercooked custard won't set and will be runny. The best way to fix it is to bake or steam it longer. It should be set on top, but still jiggly in the center when gently shaken.
I hope you enjoyed this list of frequently asked questions about Leche Flan and feel confident making it yourself, if you haven't already! It is so simple to make and only requires a few ingredients.