Leche flan is a rich milk custard that Filipinos enjoy eating year-round. It is slightly denser than the Mexican or Spanish flan that Americans are familiar with. In the Philippines, leche flan has traditionally been cooked in oval-shaped metal molds. There are now countless variations on this Filipino favorite.
TO MAKE THE CARAMELIZED OUTER LAYER
1. Dissolve 1 cup of brown sugar in 1/4 cup water.
2. Heat until sugar melts and browns to a caramel consistency.
3. While still hot, pour the liquid into custard cups or the mold you’re using.
4. Move the cups or mold around in order to coat the inner walls.
5. Set aside and allow to cool.
TO MAKE THE CUSTARD
10 egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
half teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. Scald the milk in a double boiler for 10 minutes.
2. Gently mix the eggs with the sugar, milk and vanilla.
(Do not beat so hard that it becomes foamy.)
3. Pour the mixture into the custard cups that had earlier been coated with melted sugar.
4. Place the custard cups in a baking pan filled with water.
(The water level should be just about halfway up the outside of the cups.)
5. Bake for 45 minutes or so. The time would depend on how big the cups or molds are.
To test if the leche flan is done, insert a knife. If it comes out clean, the flan is ready to be taken out of the oven. Cool before removing the leche flan from the cups.
*For flavoring, you can use lime (dayap) or lemon instead of vanilla. You can also substitute carabao milk or coconut milk for a different flavor.