My friend Rudy recently hosted a little taco dinner night and of course when I asked what I could bring, his immediate response was, “DESSERT!” So in keeping with the Latin inspiration, I tried my hand at making one of Mexico’s favorite desserts: flan. It took a few attempts to get the general hang of baking this custard sweet treat (one was a bit dense, another’s caramel was too dark), but I managed to come up with a simple recipe that was well received by the gracious host. He is Mexican after all and has eaten a lot of flan so I’ll take his stamp of approval for sure!

Serves 6 – 8

3 eggs, beaten
1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces)
1 can condensed milk (14 ounces)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk, condensed milk, vanilla, and salt until the mix is thoroughly combined and smooth. Set aside.
3. Make the caramel. Melt the sugar in a medium saucepan set over low heat until it is golden brown. It is a slow process and will take about 20 minutes. When liquefied, stir gently while it is browning to encourage remaining sugar to melt and prevent scorching. Keep an eye on the caramel; it can go from beautifully golden to badly burnt quickly.
4. Carefully pour the caramel into a 9-inch round baking dish. Tilt the dish to evenly coat the bottom. Pour the egg mixture into the dish over the caramel. Cover with aluminum foil.
5. Prepare a hot water bath for the flan. Place the dish into a larger baking tray and fill with enough hot water to cover the lower half of the flan.
6. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes. Remove from water bath and allow to cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
7. Invert the flan to serve. Run a knife along the edge of the flan to release the sides from the baking dish. Place into another hot water bath and let it sit until the caramel has released from the bottom. Check for release by gently pressing down on flan and rotating; it will move. Remove from water bath. Hold a serving platter over the baking dish and invert flan out by flipping the two over in one swift (but still careful) motion.
8. Wasn’t that easy? Now go eat!

* Be careful when handling the caramel, it will be very hot and can cause burns
* Vegetarian / Gluten Free

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