Leche Flan – a Diva in Philippine Desserts
If there were a diva in Philippine desserts, then the Filipino leche flan would be it – hands down.
For one, leche flan is massively popular among sweet-toothed Filipinos.
It is a must-have food during special occasions like fiestas or feasts, birthdays, and graduations.
During Noche Buena or Christmas Eve dinner, it takes its well-appointed space on the dining table together with time-honored Philippine Christmas foods like hamon or ball-shaped ham and queso de bola or Edam cheese.
During Filipino baptisms and weddings, hosts sometimes express thanks to their guests for coming over by giving them leche flan wrapped in colorful cellophane or boxes.
Leche Flan – a Challenge to Make
Also, just like many divas, leche flan can be pretty demanding – to make, that is.
You need to be a little seasoned in cooking and always paying attention to details to make a heavenly mould of leche flan – one that is soft, compact, rich, almost bubble-free, and brownish and yellow in color.
This is one Philippine dessert that takes much patience to make and much practice to perfect.
Leche Flan Makes Special Philippine Desserts Even More Special
So popular is leche flan in the Philippines that it even lends its megawatt star quality to other superstar Filipino desserts like halo-halo and macapuno or sweet young coconut sport.
A spoonful of leche flan can effortlessly make a serving of an already special halo-halo or macapuno instantly super special.
Origins of Leche Flan
By the way, leche flan comes from a huge family of caramel custards, crème caramels, or flans that is actually a group of desserts made of egg, milk, and sweeteners and that is eaten in many forms across the world.
The most famous member of this family, of course, is crème brûlée, which, unlike leche flan, has a hard caramel topping.
Food historians were able to trace the origins of leche flan to the French crème caramel, a custard prepared with a caramel stage and a custard base.
Recipe for Philippine Leche Flan
Now, it is time to give the leche flan recipe and here it is:
Ingredients for Leche Flan’s Custard Base
- all-purpose cream – 1 medium-sized can
- condensed milk – 1 medium-sized can or about 400 grams
- egg yolks – 10
- evaporated milk – 1 medium-sized can or about 400 grams
- vanilla extracts – 1 teaspoon
Ingredients for Leche Flan’s Caramel Top
- sugar – 1 cup
- water – ¾ cup
Tools for Making Leche Flan
- aluminum foil
- aluminum moulds
- steamer or oven
Steps for Making Leche Flan
- In a pan set over low heat, pour in water.
- Add in sugar.
- Heat until sugar is caramelized and thick.
- Pour caramelized sugar into aluminum moulds.
- Spread caramelized sugar across the whole bottom of the moulds.
- In a mixing bowl, pour in evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream, egg yolks and vanilla extracts.
- Mix everything carefully with a ladle. While mixing, take care not to create too many bubbles.
- Pour mixture into aluminum moulds until it reaches a height of about one centimeter. Also, make sure that the aluminum moulds are not filled to capacity.
- Cover aluminum moulds with aluminum foil.
- Steam for about 20 minutes.
- Alternatively, preheat oven at 370 degrees and bake for about 45 minutes. When baking, make sure to place a large baking pan with hot water beneath the aluminum moulds.
- When steamed or baked, allow to cool.
- Remove from refrigerator.
- Run a knife along the edges of the aluminum moulds.
- Transfer leche flan into a platter, with bottom facing up. Do this by placing the top side of the platter at the top of an aluminum mould and turning the mould upside down.
- Serve chilled.
Enjoy your heavenly homemade Philippine leche flan!
Copyright © 2012 Kerlyn Bautista
All Rights Reserved
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Leche Flan Recipe
The Philippines on the Map
Jack Burton from The Midwest on June 01, 2012:
I am blessed to be married to the champion leche flan maker in the whole world. She taught the daughters how to make it also, and their friends are very envious of their skills.
Maria Cecilia from Philippines on February 22, 2012:
Kerlyn.....here you go again... not a good motivation for someone like me who will be in strict diet soon...will vote up still... LOL