Sunday, March 25, 2012

Leche Flan (our family recipe)

Leche flan is a version of Spanish flan de leche (milk flan).  It is safe to say that this celebratory desert is an influence of the Spanish Conquistadores during its 333 years rule of the Philippines.  The leche flan that we all love is much heavier than that of the Spanish's flan de leche because of the condensed milk and more egg yolks that we add to it.  The heavier version is tocino del cielo which has more egg yolks and sugar (which  I wil have to try making soon).  This delightful desert is also called creme caramel or caramel custard.  A soft caramel is usually pour into the pan first before the custard and turned upside down when cooked and transferred to a serving plate.  Creme brulee has hard caramel toppings which makes it different from the leche flan.   It is usually cooked by steaming over a stove or open fire but it can also be cooked braine-marie style in the oven.  I prefer to cook it the traditional way though. 

The creme caramel here in Australia has heavy cream, sugar, golden syrup and sometimes gelatin not like the ones that we have in the Philippines.  The ones here are much lighter than leche flan.  Our family recipe's difference with the other recipes perhaps would be the lack of sugar in it.  We don't put sugar in the leche flan except for the caramelised sugar of course.  We also don't add vanilla but the nice flavor of the flan would come from the zest of lime.  I am quite happy that here in Australia it is so easy to get fresh limes from the shops not like in the Hagonoy when limes won't be available much especially on special occasions like Christmas or New Year.

My husband and I cooked leche flan last Christmas here in Australia.  My husband's family said that the best creme caramel they had is my leche flan so you can just imagine how proud I am and my husband too.


12 egg yolks (duck or chicken)
1  tin of evaporated milk
1 tin of condensed milk
2 pcs lime, zest

1 c granulated sugar

Separate egg yolks from whites (use the whites for pavlova)
Use a wooden spoon to beat the egg yolks. Do this gently.
Pour in the condensed and evaporated milks.
Add the zest of 2 limes.
Cover with cheesecloth or clingwrap and set aside in a room temperature for one hour.
Steam for 30-40 minutes.

A comment or two will be appreciated...



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