Creamy Leche Flan

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 6-7 hours

Serves: 4-6

To make the perfect leche flan (or caramel custard, for non-Filipinos), you'll need a lot of patience and practice. Work on this recipe and let us know in the comments section when you've got it down pat.


    For Dulce de leche

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split

    For Caramel

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

    For Flan

  • 1 large whole egg
  • 7 large egg yolks


    For Dulce de Leche

  1. Whisk together milk and sugar in a pot. Scrape the vanilla beans from the pod into the milk mixture.
  2. Put pot on medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved and milk near boiling. Make sure that the milk doesn’t boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and simmer without stirring for three to four hours, skimming the foam that forms on top. It’s ready when it has a light coffee color and is syrupy.
  4. Strain through a fine sieve into a measuring cup. Let cook completely and cover with a cling film.

    For Caramel

  5. Preheat oven to 250°F (120° C). Pour boiling water into a roasting pan and place a 7.5”x3.5” loaf pan inside to warm the bottom.
  6. In a small, heavy saucepan, pour sugar and add water. Place over medium-high heat and swirl without stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  7. Bring to a boil, swirling occasionally until it is golden amber.
  8. Immediately pour into the loaf pan, tilting until the entire bottom surface is covered.
  9. Remove the loaf pan from the roasting pan, and let the caramel cool until hard.

    For Flan

  10. In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg and yolks, and then add the dulce de leche.
  11. Strain into the loaf pan, and put the loaf pan back to the roasting pan.
  12. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the loaf pan.
  13. Bake for at least 3 hours, replenishing the hot water if needed, until the middle barely jiggles.
  14. Remove the loaf pan and let cool completely. Refrigerate overnight.
  15. To remove from the mold, loosen the edges with a thin knife, then either pass the bottom over a flame or dip the bottom in boiling water for half a minute. Invert into a platter.

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