The first time I had ever tasted flan was at a church function when I was about 16. It wasn’t the first time I had heard of flan but believe it or not, once upon a time, I was NOT into food…
shocking, I know.
But the sound of FLAN… the gross way it sounded like PHLEGM just led me to believe it was disgusting. And while at the church function everyone was lining up to try the pastor’s wife’s flan. Everyone said it was different from a regular flan and they loved hers. So, when I saw it, I thought, “Oh, it looks kinda like pudding” And hers was thick and creamy and not gelatinous… which changed my thought process from “Flan = Phlegm” to “Flan = DELICIOUS”.
Since then I have loved me some flan. But not all flans are as delicious as my first taste…
And when my friend Karen told me she wanted Flan for her birthday, I saw it as my chance to make my first flan ever and try to make it taste like that very first bite. Since the the first one wasn’t gelatinous, I assumed it was because it had cream cheese in it. So I found this recipe and tried it out.
Cream Cheese Flan: 12 servings
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water, divided
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup canned evaporated milk
5 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
The directions were very straight forward but for someone who has never made flan before, I didn’t know what to expect or what to look for.
To start, combine water and sugar in a saucepot and bring to a boil.
According to Epicurious, boil the sugar until it turns amber colored.
This was not good instruction.
I boiled the sugar and decided, for good measure to note how long the sugar was boiling. Around 12 minutes I thought the sugar looked nice and orangey (which is what AMBER looks like. Thank goodness for Google.) And once I poured it, this happened:
BURNT SUGAR! And it completely solidified! Once I poured it, I didn’t realize it was still cooking and it was really really dark. So, I scrapped it.
After Take TWO, I boiled a new sugar batch over medium heat and around 7 or 8 minutes or boiling, when the sugar was yellowing, I poured it into 2 8-inch pan and it was a gorgeous amber color.
Then, with a stand or handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on a low setting until it is creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually beat in the condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla and salt until its all well incorporated, another 2 minutes of mixing on low.
With the oven set to 350*, prepare a baking pan big enough to hold the pie pans (or in my case, 2 separate baking pans). Place the flan in baking pan and fill with about an inch of hot water.
Bake the flan for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow the flan to cool a bit before storing in the refrigerator.
Cool completely before devouring. Typically one would flip the flan onto another plate so the caramel is on top… but its much more fun to DIG in and scoop up spoonfuls of creamy flan with thick caramel.
For my first flan, I was damn proud. But I would definitely do things differently. This recipe made two 8 inch pie pans of flan but if I were you, I would use a deeper vessel and only make one flan. That way you can get bigger spoons of deliciousness.
Karen was extremely happy with her flan… until she broke the bottom of the pan trying to scrap up all the caramel sauce. SMH. Pregnant Women! They don’t know their own Strength!