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How to make Leche Flan Creamy Smooth

creamy smooth leche flan on plate

Leche Flan Recipe anyone? Do you know how to make Leche Flan creamy and silky smooth? Baked in the oven using just 5 ingredients, this recipe is your ultimate guide on How to make the best Leche Flan - creamy, silky smooth and melt-in-your-mouth! No kidding!

So, you know custard? Flan? Creme caramel? Creme Brulee? You know the difference? Check out our dependable friend, Google and it will show us that they are similar and different. The variety is endless that we can probably have a separate category just for this. But for today, we are doing one of the simplest and with the least number of ingredients. Yet it is one of the creamiest, silky smoothest, melt-in-your-mouth flans that you will ever make.

One time my husband asked me what I want for my last meal if the world will end (or my life will). I answered without hesitation - Leche Flan. That is how much I love this dessert. No celebration in the Philippines is complete without a Leche Flan. And often times, they will only bring this out to the buffet table one at a time - as it is the first plate to magically go empty. I got you covered then, with this how to make Leche Flan recipe!

And because I love this dessert so much, I didn't mind experimenting over and over to find the perfect balance - the silky smooth texture of that milky creamy melt-in-your-mouth flan with that sharp almost-burnt (almost but not quite) caramel.

leche flan in plate with eggs

Leche Flan Ingredients

How to make Leche Flan? Straightforward and simple - Eggs and Milk (and Vanilla Extract). I don't want to mess with this flan by adding other flavours to it :(.

One 10 oz (300 mL) can of Sweetened Condensed Milk and one cup of Evaporated Milk with 10 Egg yolks. I tried to substitute Fresh Milk with Evap Milk but it is not the same. I will not advise on it. Therefore plan when you want to do a flan (ohh, that rhymes) - get the eggs and the milk.

One more thing - the sugar for the caramel. It provides the additional layer of flavour, just like appearing for a quick second in a show then fading into the background and allowing the creamy milky sweet flan to take center-stage. Popular recipes call for granulated sugar and it is what is in this recipe but my household prefers brown sugar. The molasses gives it a stronger caramel flavour with a little acidity and bitterness in the background.

Cooking Utensils

We have llanera molds for Leche Flan. It is an oval shape thinner aluminum mold that is cheaper and more readily available in the Philippines. (I was able to buy a pack of 8 at a local Filipino store but man, the price was in $$!! so I am asking my mom to bring more when she comes back).

But any kind of pan or mold will do. You can use 6 inches round pan (square pan is also fine) or tart molds or ramekins. The recipe below yields 3 llaneras or 6" round/square pan or 8" pan as long as you have a bigger roasting pan to do the water bath in. Although bear in mind that cooking time will need to be adjusted based on the size of your mold. This recipe's cooking time is for the llanera that holds about 8 oz.

Oh BTW Tip for you, grease your molds. Nobody ever mentioned this in recipes and initially I was having trouble getting out the flan. My brother said, grease! Duh! Oh yea, I didn't have to run a knife all the way down. It was only the top part that I loosened with a knife and my Leche Flan slid out beautifully. Boom!

How to make Leche Flan

Caramelizing the Sugar

Measure 3 tbsps of sugar (2 tbsps packed if using Brown Sugar) to the llanera mold. (If using a 6" pan or bigger, I suggest that you do this step in a sauce pan for safety reasons. See below). One at a time, set them over the stove and in low heat, start to melt the sugar. Using a pair of tongs, move the mold over the heat to prevent uneven burning . It will bubble as it turns to caramel and it will be very hot so be careful. Swirl the liquid caramel to make sure all the sugar is melted. Set aside to allow the caramelized sugar to cool and set.

I know it could be scary, doing the caramel. So below is the the full instruction How-To-Video just to provide you a visual reference. If you want just a Video Demo, find it with the Recipe Card below or there is a Jump to Video at the top

https://youtu.be/0BlNrT-3n5Q

Alternately, you can caramelize the sugar in a small sauce pan then pour them on the mold. One Tip - if you are not confident with caramelizing the sugar by itself (it can easily burn and you have to do it all over again), you can add maybe a teaspoon of water, enough to wet the sugar. Your caramel will be a bit more watery and may have less of that distinct caramel taste but no biggie. As I mentioned earlier, it is just a quick and sharp flavour before your taste buds move on to the flan - the main attraction.

Note: If the sugar is not completely melted, you will get a grainy caramel :(

leche flan mixture and caramel molds

Preparing the Flan

Start by separating the egg white from the yolks (don't throw away the egg whites, we can make Meringue, Cake Puto or even French Macaron with it). Tip (again): Make sure to remove as much egg white as you can as it affects the consistency of the flan.

Gently and slowly (to prevent from having unwanted bubbles) beat the Yolks with a whisk or fork. Make sure they are still well-beaten though. Add the Sweetened Condensed Milk, Evaporated Milk and Vanilla Extract gradually while continuously stirring in a gentle circular motion.

Tip on how to make Leche Flan smooth: Pass the egg and milk mixture through a sieve or a cheese cloth and discard the solid bits and other bubbles. This is the secret to get the flan as smooth as possible.

leche flan solid bits

Pour into the molds/pans with caramelized sugar. Let sit for a minute or two for the remaining bubbles to settle down or you can tap the mold gently several times on a flat surface to get rid of trapped bubbles.

Before passing through a sieve
Less solid bits and bubbles after

Cover with aluminum foil and place the filled molds or pans in a water bath and bake in the oven at 350°F for about 40 minutes (more if you are using a bigger mold/pan) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven, allow to cool and refrigerate to set (at least 3 hours). To serve, run a knife around the edges to loosen the  flan and turn  over on a serving plate, with the caramel on top. 

leche flan in waterbath in oven
leche flan out of the oven
Even the top is all smooth if using the oven-water bath method

Alternately, you can also steam the Leche Flan. Steaming only takes half the time. However, you won't get the same silky smooth consistency as with the water bath.

The difference in consistency of steamed (left) and in water-bath (oven).

Some useful Notes on How to make Leche Flan Recipe

Using Whole Eggs - Some recipes call for whole eggs but you will lose that melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Egg white is mostly protein and water - both make the flan firmer.

More liquid or milk - It is important not to mess around with the delicate balance of the measurements of ingredients in this recipe. Adding more liquid like fresh or evaporated milk will make the Leche Flan harder.

Fresh Milk vs Evaporated Milk - As mentioned, I will not advise on it. True, Evap is more processed but it has this creamier taste that you will not get with Fresh Milk. This one affects the flavour so for me, hard no. But if you still want to use Fresh Milk, it is still good, just less, and I mean much much less creamy.

Steaming instead of Baking - It will not be as silky smooth (as in the picture above). The creamy softness is still there and of course the flavour. Plus, steaming melts the caramel and it leaks at the sides so not as good, presentation-wise (again, refer to the picture of steamed with the brownish tinge at the sides of the molds).

Why Sieve? - One word, Smooth! You want to remove the impurities and the unwanted bubbles and just have that custard mixture. The yolks dry up easily and form this thin film if left sitting on your counter even for just a few minutes. You want to remove even the smallest dried bits.

Egg has also this white stringy thingy attached to the yolk (ever noticed that?). I learned that some people are totally weirded by it. I understand, it looks like snot (ewwwr). It is called chalazae—pronounced kuh-LEY-zee. They anchor the egg yolk as it floats in the thick albumen. Usually you don't notice them after you beat the yolks but when you sieve, there they are. Hello chalazae; goodbye chalazae. :)

If you made this How to make Leche Flan recipe, please let us know in the comments or share your picture and tag us in Instagram - GlobalSweetandSavoury. You might also want to check out other Filipino treats and sweets:

how to make leche flan smooth and creamy
Cooking Method ,
Difficulty Beginner
Time
Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 45 mins Rest Time: 3 hrs Total Time: 4 hrs
Servings 12
Calories 192
Best Season
Description

Creamy silky smooth Leche Flan melt-in-your-mouth goodness will easily become your favorite go-to dessert especially when you have friends, family and guests over.

Ingredients
  • 10 Egg Yolks
  • 10 fluid ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 cup Evaporated Milk (See Note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 9 tablespoons Granulated Sugar (See Note 2)
Instructions
    Caramelizing the Sugar
  1. Measure 3 tbsp of sugar (2 if using brown sugar) to the llanera mold. Or if using a sauce pan, pour all the sugar in.

  2. One at a time, set them over the stove and in low heat, start to melt the sugar. Using a pair of tongs, move the pan/mold over the heat to prevent uneven burning . Swirl the liquid caramel to make sure all the sugar is dissolved and melted. Set aside to allow the caramelized sugar to cool and set.

  3. Preparing the Flan
  4. Separate the yolks carefully making sure to remove as much white as possible.

  5. Carefully and slowly (to prevent from having air bubbles) beat the yolks with a whisk or fork in a gentle circular motion. When the yolks are well-beaten, gradually add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla while continuously stirring.

  6. Pass the flan mixture through a sieve or a cheese cloth and discard the solid bits and other air bubbles.

  7. Pour into the molds/pans (with the caramelized sugar underneath). Let sit for a minute or two to allow the remaining bubbles to settle down or tap the mold several times on a flat surface to get rid of trapped bubbles.

  8. Cover with aluminum foil and place the filled mold in a water bath and bake in the oven at 350°F for about 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

  9. Remove from oven, allow to cool and refrigerate to set. To serve, run a knife around the edges to loosen the flan and turn  over on a serving plate, with caramel on top. 

Nutrition Facts

Servings 12


Amount Per Serving
Calories 192kcal
Calories from Fat 43kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g13%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 184mg62%
Sodium 62mg3%
Potassium 175mg5%
Total Carbohydrate 28g10%
Sugars 26g
Protein 6g12%

Vitamin A 6 IU
Vitamin C 2 mg
Calcium 15 mg
Iron 3 mg
Vitamin D 4 IU
Vitamin E 2 IU
Thiamin 4 mg
Riboflavin 15 mg
Vitamin B6 4 mg
Folate 6 mcg
Vitamin B12 6 mcg
Pantothenic Acid 7 mg
Phosphorus 17 mg
Magnesium 3 mmol
Zinc 5 mcg
Selenium 18 mg
Copper 1 mg

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption. source: https://nutritiondata.self.com

Notes
  1. I only use Evaporated Milk on my flan however if you only have Fresh Milk available, it is not the end of the world. It will not be as milky creamy.
  2. I use granulated sugar in this recipe but you can use brown sugar instead if you prefer a more caramel flavour.
Keywords: leche flan recipe, how to make leche flan, how to make leche flan smooth, best leche flan recipe

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