1 ¼ cups sugar, divided

1, 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1, 12-ounce can evaporated milk

4 eggs

1 egg yolk

2, 8-ounce bars cream cheese, softened to room temperature

whole milk (fill the can from the sweetened condensed milk)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the caramel. Pour 1 cup of the sugar into a large saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until clumps begin to form.  At this point 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 3-4” high*) and tilt the pan so that the caramel covers the bottom and goes about 1” up the sides.  You need to do this quickly as the caramel will begin to set and not move.  Set aside.

Combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, the eggs and yolk, and one bar of the cream cheese in a blender.  Begin pulsing and then blend on high until smooth.  Pour this mixture into a large bowl.

To the same blender, add the second bar of cream cheese, the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, the milk, and vanilla.  Blend until smooth and add to the first mixture in the bowl.  Stir to combine and then pour into the pan coated with the caramel.

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 outside 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.  Cut into wedges and devour the rich creamy goodness.

*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 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.

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