Traditional Flan (Pudim Flan)

What sweeter way to use up farm fresh eggs than with a Portuguese flan?!

Egg Note: Do consider the size of the eggs in the recipe. Oddly enough, there isn’t much difference in yolk size from a small to a jumbo egg, but the white part changes in volume rather dramatically. What does this mean? If you are using small eggs, which are usually from younger or bantam chickens, this will mean that you will have a richer, yolkier flan because the yolk to white ratio is much higher. When small eggs are what I have on hand, I will use 10 small eggs instead of 8 large eggs and two egg yolks.

Traditional Flan (Pudim Flan)

Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water

Make sure you have flan dish. You can purchase Portuguese flan mold at a specialty store or use 6-8 individual ramekins.

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Simmer over medium low heat until the syrup caramelizes and turns a deep golden brown. Keep an eye on this pot because it will go from boiling sugar…

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… to perfect golden brown caramel in seconds. Likewise it can go from perfect golden to to burnt in seconds, too. It take about 5-10 minutes for the color to develop.

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At this point you have a choice… You can either pour ALL the sugar into a large flan mold or 6-8 individual ramekins OR you can pour about a 1/4 cup of the stuff into the custard and the rest into the flan mold.   My father-in-law’s family does the former and mother-in-law’s family does the latter.  In her version, the caramel in the flan infuses the whole custard with that caramel flavor and makes it much darker in color.  Either way, remember that hot sugar syrup burns so make sure you are careful and use pot holders! Rotate the pan to coat both the bottom and sides and set aside.

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Custard:

  • 4 cups (1 quart) whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • peel of one lemon without the pith (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp port wine (optional)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks

Heat the oven to 350F. Beat the eggs, sugar, and milk together until frothy. Add the cinnamon stick and lemon peel if using. Heat on the stovetop until warm. Remove from the heat and add the port wine if using. Strain into the prepared mold(s).

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Place the custard dish into a water bath, which is quite easy to make: Simply place an oven-safe dish into the preheated oven, put the custard dish inside, and fill with boiling water until it comes halfway up the custard dish.

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Bake 45 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle of the custard comes out clean. If you are using smaller ramekins, 35 minutes should be enough.

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Chill completely before unmolding by topping with a large plate and flipping upside down.

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