ABUELA ADELFA’S FLAN DE COCO (COCONUT FLAN)
¼ cup sugar
1, 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1, 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch salt
1, 17 ounce can Conchita grated coconut in extra heavy syrup, drained in a colander
Optional – ¼ cup coconut flakes, lightly toasted for garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
To make the caramel put the sugar into a large saucepan and heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently until clumps begin to form. When clumps form, stir constantly until the sugar melts and become a rich amber caramel color. This will take 8-10 minutes.
Immediately pour the hot caramel into your flan pan (2.5 qt. round, approx. 9-10” wide x 4-6” high*) and tilt the pan so that the caramel covers the bottom. You need to do this quickly as the caramel will begin to set and not move. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
Combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla, and salt in a blender and process until smooth. Pour this mixture on top of the cooled caramel. Take the drained coconut and ‘sprinkle’ it on top of the flan with your fingers spreading it evenly all over the top of the liquid.
This flan is cooked in a water bath (bain-marie) so you will need another pan that is slightly larger than your flan pan. Carefully place the flan pan in the larger pan and then pour boiling water in the second pan, careful not to get any in the flan, ½-¾ of the way up the side of the flan pan.
Bake for 1 hour and then cover the flan with foil and bake 30 minutes more. The flan should be slightly loose (jiggly) in the middle and will finish setting as it cools.
Remove the flan from the water bath and bring to room temperature. Then, refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
To plate the dish, carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen it. Take a large flat dish or cake stand and place it upside down on the flan pan. Holding the plate and the pan together, quickly flip it over and jiggle until the flan releases onto the plate. You will have a gorgeous custard topped with syrupy amber caramel. Garnish the top with the toasted coconut flakes. Serve in wedges.
*If you don’t have a traditional flan pan, you can use a cake pan or a baking dish with the same dimensions listed above. I have also used a corning ware baking dish and it worked perfectly. I am told a springform pan can also work, BUT mine leaked when I put it in the water bath so you need a very tight seal if using your springform pan.