Flan - Peruvian Dessert

Flan is a baked egg custard similar to crème caramel. It is made with eggs, cream or milk, gelatin and vanilla. Flan is synonymous with crème caramel because it includes a layer of burnt or caramelized sugar on the bottom. There is also crunchy sugar on top. Flan is a popular dessert in Latin American countries made in a mold, but its origin is French, which are made in pie dishes. Latin American restaurants make the distinction between regular flan and dulce de leche, flan served with a milk caramel sauce. This recipe was made by my Peruvian grandmother.


1/4 Cup sugar
4 eggs
1 Cup fat-free milk
1 Cup evaporated fat-free milk or fat-free milk
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla
Dash salt


1. To caramelize sugar, in a small heavy skillet cook 1/4 cup sugar over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking skillet occasionally to heat sugar evenly. Do not stir. Reduce heat to low and cook about 5 minutes more or until all of the sugar is melted and golden.

2. Quickly pour caramelized sugar into an 8x1-1/2-inch round baking pan, tilting pan to coat bottom (use a pot holder if pan becomes too hot).

3. In a mixing bowl beat eggs. Stir in skim milk, evaporated skim milk, 1/4 cup sugar, the vanilla, and salt. Pour into sugar-coated pan.

4. Set the round pan in a large baking pan set on an oven rack. Pour hot water into the large baking pan around the round pan to a depth of 1 inch.

5. Bake, uncovered, in a 325 degree F oven about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center of the custard comes out clean. Carefully remove from pan of water. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cover flan and refrigerate 4 to 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.

6. Loosen flan from side of pan. Carefully invert onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges. If desired, garnish with edible flowers. Makes 8 servings.