Flan, aka caramel custard, aka crème caramel, is a luscious, sliceable custard with caramel sauce which everyone loves. This is a classic, foundational recipe to give you perfect results, but you can get creative by adding flavors like orange zest, vanilla bean, or rum. With the precision temperature control of Autopilot, you can easily make flan without messing around with a bain-marie, aka double boiler, aka water bath, aka chance to spill a bunch of water in your custard.
5 hrs total time
30 mins active time
- Cooking spray
- 1⅔ cups (11½ oz) white sugar
- 3 tbsp (1½ fl oz) water
- 3 (5 oz) large eggs
- 2 (1¾ oz) large egg yolks
- 1 cup (8 fl oz) heavy cream
- 1½ cups (12 fl oz) milk
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1Spray a 8½-inch x 4½-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until the caramel turns golden brown. Remove from the heat and gently swirl the pan until the bubbles subside then immediately pour the caramel into the pan and allow to cool.
- 2Whisk together the eggs, yolks, salt, and sugar before adding the cream and milk. Whisking beforehand makes it easier to combine once the cream and milk are added without aerating the mixture. Add the combined cream and milk and whisk gently. Let the custard stand for 30 minutes to allow any air bubbles to rise to the surface.
- 3Insert the wire rack into position 6. Meanwhile, continue to the next step.
- 4Strain the custard directly into the pan to remove any lumps and prevent air bubbles from forming. Don’t tap the pan on the counter—this will crack the caramel, and the custard will show through. Cover with foil.
- 5Once preheated, place in the oven and start Autopilot. The oven will bake in two phases with precise temperature control, eliminating the need for a water bath.
- 6The flan should be just set. If not, give it a bit more.
- 7Take the flan out of the oven and remove the foil. Refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight. A well-chilled flan has the best smooth and custardy texture that’s easy to slice and hold its shape.
- 8Run a knife around the edge of the pan to help release the sides, then quickly invert onto a rimmed serving dish to catch all the delicious caramel. Scrape any remaining caramel from the bottom of the pan and drizzle over the flan.
- 9From posset to pot de crème, learn how to make easy creamy desserts with traditional and sous vide methods at chefsteps.com