A flan (or crème caramel) is a delicious custard based dessert with a lovely caramel sauce. It is very commonly eaten throughout Europe and the Latin/South American countries. Personally, I just love flan - it’s easily one of my all time favorite desserts. Flan has a wonderful creamy silky texture that’s just fantastic.
Flan lends itself well to many flavors. I have decided to use passion fruit, but feel free to use your favorite fruit or combination of fruits such as peach, guava, mango, banana, pineapple, orange, lemon, coconut, strawberries… You can also make chocolate or coffee flan if you like. This dessert is just perfect for entertaining since it can be made well in advance.
PASSION FRUIT FLAN
6 large eggs
1¼ cups passion fruit juice
(or fresh passion fruit puree)
small pinch of ground cardamom powder
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz size)
1¼ cups sugar, to taste
1 cup water
fresh mint leaves for garnish
8” oven safe baking or cake pan
a large oven safe deep baking pan/dish that will easily fit the 8” baking pan
First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Also, heat a kettle of water to boil.
To make the caramel sauce: in a small saucepan on medium heat, combine the sugar and water. Stir to dissolve the sugar & bring to a gentle boil. Let cook for 15-20 or until the caramel has turned a lovely golden brown color. Then remove from the heat & carefully pour the hot caramel sauce into the 8” flan pan, tilting & rotating it so the caramel sauce evenly coats the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides as well. Now set this pan inside the larger baking pan & set aside until needed.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs along with the sweetened condensed milk. A hand held blender works great for this task. Next, add the passion fruit juice and ground cardamom powder. Mix until all of the ingredients are well combined. Now carefully pour this egg custard mixture into the 8” pan with the caramel. Then cover the flan pan tightly with aluminum foil and set the large baking dish (with the flan pan inside) on the middle rack of your oven. Now using the hot water from the kettle, carefully pour the water around the flan pan into the larger baking dish until the water level is about halfway up the outer side of the flan pan. This is basically a water bath (or bain marie) that creates a little steam & helps the flan cook more evenly.
Bake the flan for about 30-40 minutes or until the flan has set (use the toothpick test in the center of the flan), the center should have a slight wiggle to it when the large baking pan is gently shaken.
Next, remove from the oven & carefully take the flan pan out of the water bath. Remove the aluminum foil cover and let the flan cool completely. Then cover the flan and refrigerate it for at least 6-8 hours, but overnight is best.
To unmold and serve, carefully run a small paring knife around the inner edge of the flan pan. Place a large serving plate (eating side down over the top of the flan pan) and carefully invert the entire plate & flan pan. Now gently shake the flan pan so that the flan easily slides out onto the serving plate. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve chilled.