The Dishes

Leche Flan

Prep time: | Cook time: | Serves 8

  • 1 1⁄4 cups caster sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 1⁄2 cups full cream milk
  • 1 lime, zest finely
  • 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C
  2. Using a microplane, finely zest 1 lime and set aside
  3. Beat egg yolks in a large bowl, gradually add 3⁄4 cup of caster sugar, mixing in thoroughly
  4. Pour milk slowly into the egg mixture and mix gently, trying not to create too many bubbles
  5. Stir in the lime zest and vanilla, set aside to allow the lime zest to infuse into the custard mixture – while you let the custard infuse, caramelise the sugar in your tin/mold. Traditionally leche flan is cooked in a mold called a Llanera which is oval in shape, I don’t have one so I use an 8inch round baking pan instead (if you have a shallow pan that’s even better).
  6. Place the remaining 1⁄2 cup of caster sugar in your pan and place over low heat. Tip the pan back and forth as the sugar melts to distribute the caramelized sugar evenly and avoid burning. Keep an eye on the sugar because it goes from nicely golden to burnt, very quickly. I cook mine until it’s a rich brown just on the verge of burning, since the slight bitterness will help cut the sweetness of the custard. Allow the caramel to cool and harden, then using a fine mesh sieve, strain the custard mixture into your pan.
  7. Take a deep roasting tray and lay a tea towel on the bottom. Place your custard pan on the towel and then pour enough hot (not boiling) water into the roasting tray so that it comes halfway up the custard pan, careful not to splash any into your custard.
  8. Set it on the middle shelf of your oven and bake for 1 1⁄2 – 2 hours or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  9. Let cool to room temperature then cover in foil and chill in the fridge overnight
  10. To serve, remove the foil and run a knife along the edge of the custard to loosen it, then place a large plate over the pan and carefully flip the plate and pan over.