Mom's Homemade Leche Flan Recipe With Egg Whites
In the Philippines, Spanish custard, or flan, is called leche flan (leche is Spanish for milk). Traditional Spanish flan only uses egg yolks, but my mom discovered a way to use the egg whites as well to avoid waste. What we ended up with is a flan that is firmer than regular flan because of the egg whites.
We always brought some of our flan to Thanksgiving and Christmas parties. Everybody liked it and wanted us to bring it every year. Many even asked us for the recipe so they could make it at home.
Originally, Mom steamed it, but the results were inconsistent. Sometimes the flan ended up with a lot of air bubbles instead of having a smooth and very fine texture. So I experimented with my mom's recipe and tried baking it instead in a pan of water, and it turned out great.
What makes Filipino flan different is the shape. Traditional Filipino flan is oval in shape because we use a special oval baking pan called a llanera, which is available in Asian stores. I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this during the holidays.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 15 min
2 hours 15 min
8 to 10 servings
For the flan:
- 6 large eggs
- 1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
- 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the caramel coating:
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325° F.
- Take the eggs out of the refrigerator and allow them to reach room temperature for about 30 minutes. This will make it easier for the eggs to mix with the other ingredients.
- Slowly mix the eggs with the sugar in a large mixing bowl using a whisk. Be careful not to create air bubbles.
- After the sugar is dissolved, gradually add the condensed milk and mix slowly with a whisk.
- Add the evaporated milk and slowly mix it in.
- Mix in the vanilla flavoring. Allow mixture to rest for a few minutes. Some particles may rise to the surface, which is normal (refer to photo 1 below).
- Prepare the caramel by adding the 2 tablespoons of white sugar into the 8 3/4" x 5 3/4" llanera.
- Place the llanera on the stove over medium-low heat and melt the sugar for about 8 minutes, until it turns brown, occasionally redistributing the caramel evenly over the bottom and to avoid burning, using a potholder or tongs to hold the hot llanera. Allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. The cooled caramel will start cracking, which is normal (refer to photos 2 and 3 below).
- Using a ladle, pour the flan mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the llanera to remove the solid particles that formed on the surface while it rested. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the strainer to help the mixture flow through the strainer (refer to photos 4 and 5 below).
- Place the uncovered llanera in a 13" x 9" baking pan and add hot tap water to the baking pan till the baking pan is half-filled with water, to create a water bath.
- Place the llanera and the baking pan into the oven. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the flan comes out clean. Continue baking for additional 5-minute increments if needed.
- Remove from the oven and take llanera out of the hot water bath and allow to cool.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight.
- Using a knife, loosen the sides of the flan from the llanera. Put the llanera in baking pan with hot tap water for 5 minutes to loosen it. Then using a knife, loosen the sides of the flan from the llanera. Put a plate on top of the llanera and turn it over. Push and/or tap the bottom of the llanera to dislodge the flan from the llanera. Remove the llanera and serve (refer to photos 6–9 below).
- You can skip the white sugar since the condensed milk is sweet.
- If you want a sweeter flan, add more sugar.
- An alternative way of creating the caramel is to sprinkle sugar on top of the cooked flan and use a kitchen blowtorch to melt and caramelize the sugar.
- Top with whipped cream before serving.