Do you know how to make flan from scratch? Venturing into flan territory can be daunting the first time around. Will the custard curdle? How do you know if its cooked all the way through? And let us not forget the caramel. Will it burn? What’s the best way to make it?
I’m here to tell you that your flan recipe will be a success. Yes, you can make flan from scratch and have it turn out beautifully every time if you follow these easy tips.
How To Make Flan From Scratch: Getting Started
Before you even think about getting started on the flan mix you'll want to read the recipe carefully. Then preheat the oven to the recommended temperature and gather all of the required ingredients and equipment.
Also, decide on the size of flan you'd like to make. Do you prefer a large flan or individual ones served in ramekins?
Typically, to make flan from scratch you'll need the following equipment: a blender, a mold or ramekins, a large roasting pan, a pot for making caramel.
How To Make Flan From Scratch: Blending the Ingredients
Making flan from scratch is as easy as pouring all the ingredients (except the caramel) into a blender and blending until all ingredients form a homogenous mix.
Afterwards, strain the flan mix into a large measuring cup or vessel with a spout to make pouring it into the mold or molds easy.
The flan mix will have some air bubbles afterwards so allow it to stand for at least 10 minutes before pouring into the molds. Use this time to make the caramel.
How To Make Flan From Scratch: Make The Caramel
Preparing caramel for flan is simple: all it requires is placing sugar into a pot and waiting for it to melt completely and turn golden (keep in mind some caramel recipes call for sugar and water). Here are a few guidelines for making the perfect caramel for flan:
- use a stainless steel pot
- do NOT touch the caramel as it cooks (this means no stirring with a spoon, however you may swirl the pan, if needed)
- cook over medium heat (this will ensure the sugar melts slowly and won’t burn)
- remove the caramel from the heat immediately after all the sugar has melted and turned golden
- have the flan mold or ramekins ready so you can pour the caramel into them
Chef Tip: Don’t worry about covering the bottom of the molds evenly - the caramel will melt as the flan cooks and will spread throughout the bottom of the mold.
Like the Mexican flan de cajeta pictured above? Learn how to make it from scratch.
How To Make Flan From Scratch: Don’t Forget the Bain Marie
Let’s be honest. Most of use don’t have restaurant-style ovens at home with fancy features like a steam setting. So that’s why it is essential to cook the flan in a bain marie.
What is a bain marie, you ask? It is the French name for a water bath. A bain marie requires a smaller vessel sitting in a larger one filled half way with hot water. This will allow the flan to cook with gentle heat and retain its creaminess.
Not sure how to prepare a bain marie? Watch this video from Good Housekeeping which breaks down the whole process:
How To Make Flan From Scratch: Bake Low and Slow
A lot of flan recipes call for setting the oven to 350F (180C). This temperature tends to brown the top of the flan.
Instead, I recommend setting the oven to 325F (160C) and baking the flan for 55 to 60 minutes.
Some flan recipes call for covering the flan with foil. I advise against covering the pan with foil to avoid condensation falling onto the custard, which may affect flavor and appearance.
How To Make Flan From Scratch: Knowing When It is Ready
As with all baked goods, It is important to follow the recipe instructions. If the recipe indicates cooking the flan for an hour do so but feel free to check on it 10 minutes before in case your oven runs hot. tip: I recommend purchasing an oven thermometer to ensure it cooks at the right temperature.
A flan that is properly cooked won’t giggle in the center. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully remove the flan from the bain marie. Allow the flan to cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Chef tip: Purchase an oven thermometer to ensure the oven is operating at the right temperature.
How To Make Flan From Scratch: Unmolding, The Final Step
To make your homemade flan look impressive you’ll want to unmold it onto a plate. Dip the mold into a bit of hot water to help release the flan. Then run a knife along the edges of the mold. Flip onto a plate and voila…you’ve made the perfect flan from scratch.