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Mexican Flan

Flan, also known as Crème Caramel, is a traditional Mexican dessert. It is creamy custard topped with caramel sauce, dates back to the Roman empire and was often made to use up extra milk and eggs. Flan can be made in individual serving dishes, or in one large dish and then sliced it into the desired portions sizes.  

100 g/125 ml sugar
30 ml water

425 ml milk
90 ml castor sugar or partly artificial sweetener
175 ml cream
4 large whole eggs
2 large egg yolks
5 ml vanilla essence
pinch salt

To Serve and Garnish (optional)
aerosol canned whipped cream  
or decorative fruit or tiny flowers

  1. Grease 6 ovenproof glass moulds with 125 to 200 ml capacity with butter or non-stick cooking spray and have them prepared when caramel is ready and needs quick action.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160°C. 
  3. Place the sugar and water for the caramel into a small saucepan and heat gently, without stirring, until the sugar dissolves and forms a syrup. Turn up the heat slightly and simmer just until the syrup turns golden brown.
  4. Pour the syrup into the moulds, tilt each mould to allow the syrup to coat the base and part of the sides of each mould evenly.Heat the milk to just below boiling point and stir in the castor sugar to melt. 
  5. Beat the  eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and salt until combined and add and beat in the warm milk.
  6. Strain the mixture into a jug and divide between the prepared moulds. Stand the moulds in a suitable pan and fill the pan with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the moulds.
  7. Place in the oven and bake about 20 minutes or until set and golden on top.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. 
  9. Refrigerate until quite cold before inverting onto individual serving plates or a large platter.
  10. Decorate each crème caramel with a small rosette of whipped cream just before serving.

6 servings.


  • To store in the refrigerator, place the moulds into a plastic container and seal to prevent the delicately flavoured custard from absorbing odours.
  • To make classic crème caramel for special occasions, use half milk and half cream. Heat the milk and beat the cream with the eggs. Continue as explained above.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking page 750.