Popular Spanish flan is, in its simplest form, nothing more than a custard cream, the main difference being that it is cooked in a pan previously lined with caramelized sugar syrup. Serves six. This is a very basic recipe, adaptable to many variations. You can flavor it with coffee, orange, lemon or anything you might prefer.
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1 t. vanilla
4 T. sugar
2 T. water
Step 1. Beat the egg yolks and 2/3 cup sugar together thoroughly. Add the milk and vanilla. Mix well and pass the mixture through a fine strainer. In a tin flan mold, place 4 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Boil the syrup until it becomes well-browned. Watch it carefully - it turns rapidly from light brown to burned brown: don’t let it get too dark.
Step 2. While the syrup is still hot, swirl the pan carefully to distribute the syrup evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan, forming a thin, solid crust as it cools.
Step 3. In the pan thus prepared, pour the egg/milk/sugar mixture. Cover and cook by the double-boiler method - setting the mold in a pan of water - for 45 to 60 minutes.
Step 4. Finish by baking uncovered for about 20 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven, without removing it from the pan of water. When its crown is golden-brown, test it by sticking a needle in it. When the needle comes out completely dry, remove it from the oven and let it cool before trying to get it out of the mold.
Step 5. To remove from the mold, hold it over the fire a few seconds, then turn it over.
The same procedure applies for smaller individual molds but of course they require less cooking time.