- Written by Cynthia Presser
This dessert has so many different names (flan, pudim, custard, crème caramel, quesillo) depending on the country, but all recipes are similar. This is the Brazilian basic version and it is a little sweeter than the other ones. Serve it with fresh berries and whipped cream or just by itself!
Serves about 14
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup water
- 3 cans condensed milk (14 oz each)
- 3 cups whole milk
- 6 eggs
Make the Caramel – Stir water and sugar into a large sauce pan. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Cook without stirring for 10 to 12 minutes, until the mixture turns golden brown. Stir well and pour the caramel into a 10-inch mold pan and swirl the caramel to completely cover the base and about 1-inch up the sides. Allow to cool and harden.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the condensed milk, whole milk, and eggs in a large blender. Blend for about 20 seconds. If the ingredients do not fit all at once, divide them equally into 2 batches. Strain the milk mix into a large bowl, removing the foam that forms on the surface.
Pour the milk mix into the mold pan (make sure the caramel is firm so it does not incorporate into the flan) and cover with aluminum foil.
Place the mold pan in a large ovenproof dish filled up with warm water. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for about 50 minutes. The flan is ready when you stick a knife in it and it turns out clean when you remove it.
Remove it from oven and let it cool down completely. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
How to unmold – gently run a table knife all around the mold pan, then carefully flip it over a large plate.
Enjoy it by itself or with a side of freshly beaten whipped cream and mixed berries.
This is the classic Brazilian recipe, which has so many delicious variations! You can definitely play around with this basic version and add all kinds of twists. Here are some great ideas, including recipes from all over South America!
Coconut Flan (my Dad’s favorite) – add ½ cup coconut flakes to the mix.
Orange Flan – replace 1 cup of milk by 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice and serve it with 4 teaspoons of orange zest on top.
Quesillo (Recipe from Venezuela, courtesy of Carol Andrea Madrigal Echeverry) - add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of rum, and 1 extra egg. Also prepare it with only 1 can of condensed milk, and 1 cup of milk.
Cheese Flan (Flan de Queso from Puerto Rico) – add 8 oz of cream cheese and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Also, use only 2 cans of condensed milk and 2 cups of milk.
Lime Flan – add ¼ cup lime juice to the mix and serve it with lime zest on top.
There are so many more variations to this classic dessert! I think that the flan is the “South American Cheesecake” because it is also a traditional dessert that has many slightly different great ways to prepare!
I hope everyone enjoys it and please let me know of any new ideas because I would love to try them!
My Mom makes this dessert all the time for my Dad. It is one of his favorites! Especially the one with coconut flakes. Yummm!