Leche Flan

Have you spent a lot of hours prepping and cooking leche flan only to end up with a flan that still tastes like eggs? Well I have, only a million times.  My sister had served leche flan too for dessert a couple of times and we had to stop ourselves from asking why our neighbor’s leche flan tastes like a flan and hers doesn’t. If you’ve met my sister, you’d understand what i’m talking here. You'd rather keep your mouth shut or be dead. Your choice. :)

Anyways, my office mate before cooks and sells leche flan and they’re really good. She mentioned you had to keep the fire at low to medium or else you'll have a leche flan that will have holes as big as a sponge's, overstatement here but you get the picture right? :)  The first time I served leche flan using my newly tried recipe, my sisters commented they really tasted like leche flan this time. Although I was already making really delicious leche flan after that, I was still bothered by those tiny holes which are always present no matter how low I keep my fire when steaming. Good thing, I ventured on baking my leche flan instead of steaming it. Same recipe but different cooking methods makes two slightly different looking dessert. Read further to find out.

1. Heat pan and put in the sugar to caramelize using low to medium heat. Be careful not to burn the sugar. Stir till all the sugar melted. Pour in your llanera or leche flan molds.

You can also directly place the sugar in each llanera, place over low fire, use tongs as they'll get extremely hot to handle, stir/tilt until all sugar are melted and are evenly distributed.

2. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Stir/beat.

Store the egg whites in an airtight container and put in the fridge. Egg whites from 12 eggs can be made into angel food cake later like I did.

3. Add in the condensed and evaporated milk. Stir gently, don't over beat to avoid bubbles.

The lumps of yellow in the picture here are from the hardened crust of one of my chilled egg yolks. There are also specks of egg whites here. They are from those that stubbornly clung to the egg yolks. These will be removed during the straining process in step 4 below. Straining also removes the bubbles.

4. Strain using a cheesecloth and pour in each llanera or leche flan molds. Since I don't have a cheesecloth, I used my husband's handkerchief.

5. Cover with foil and steam for 45 minutes. or....

6. Place the leche flan molds in a pan and fill pan with water about 1/3 to 1/2 of the height of your molds. Bake in a preheated oven at 375F for about an hour. Once a toothpick comes out clean when inserted, your leche flan is done. Let cool at room temperature then refrigerate to set.

7. To serve, turn over the mold on a plate so the side with the caramel will be on top. This leche flan here is the product of the steaming method.

This leche flan here is the product of baking in water bath method. Really smooth right? Holes problem, solved! So which method would you choose?

If you don't have an oven, steaming is great because whether it be baked or steamed, the outcome of both methods, though looked slightly different, tasted equally delicious. Also, refrigerate your leche flan first before serving because its texture becomes even more delightful when chilled. Enjoy!

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