Leche flan, creme caramel, flan or caramel custard is known to be one of the all-time favorites of Filipinos in terms of desserts. It is custard sweet with layers of soft caramel poured on top, which is opposite to famous creme brulee that the caramel on top is hard. Creme caramel used to be present in all European restaurants that they are mostly seen in all menus in restaurants in Europe. This is because of the convenience of preparation wherein they can make many in advance and keep it in their chiller until they needed one.
Different Variations of Leche Flan
Creme Caramel is mostly seen in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico; however, it is also famous in their neighboring countries. Their version is eaten together with dulce de leche. In Venezuela and Brazil, it is made up of condensed milk, eggs, milk and caramelized sugar on top just like creme brulee, which they call “Quesillo”. In Chile, it is eaten together with dulce de membrillo, which is a quince gelatin spread or the well-known leche condensada.
The Cuban flan is very well known in all Spanish-speaking countries as Flan de Cuba, which is made with added cinnamon stick and two egg whites. Similar to this is Copa Lolita, which a caramel flan served with ice creams on top or on the side. They also use rum raisin or coconut as toppings.
In Philippines, this is known as Leche Flan (a local term derived from Spanish word flan de leche, which means “milk Flan”), made with more egg yolks and condensed milk that is why it is more heavier and creamier version of the Spanish flan. The flan is usually cooked by steaming but some prefer it baked. Leche flan in the Philippines has been one of their favorites for it is always present in all their celebrations.
Crème caramel has been common to Vietnamese when the French started to introduce it to them. It is known in Northern Vietnam as banh caramel or kem caramel and in Southern Vietnam as banh flan or krem flan.
Leche Flan Recipe
• 1 can evaporated milk (390g)
• 1 can condensed milk (390g)
• 10 egg yolks
• 1 t lemon essence or vanilla extract
• 1 cup sugar
• ¾ cup water
• In a pan, heat the water and sugar until the sugar turned into a caramel
• Transfer the caramel into your aluminum mould (any shape). Make sure the moulds are well covered with caramel
• Combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, egg yolks and the vanilla by a hand beater or in a blender
• Slowly pour the milk mixture on the moulds covered by caramel
• Do not fill it to the top for it will still expand while steaming
• Use aluminum foil to cover the moulds with the mixture
• Steam it in a double boiler for 20 minutes, OR
• If you prefer the baking method, put the moulds in a large baking pan with hot water. Preheat the oven to 370o before putting the moulds inside the oven
• Let the flan cool then keep it in the refrigerator until ready to serve
• Before serving make sure to remove the flan in the moulds by quickly turning it upside down in your serving plate to expose the golden caramel