my students love doing programs that involve making food and sharing it. those always seem to be the most successful. everyone’s still talking about it days, maybe weeks after. there’s something about food that builds relationships like nothing else can.
i mean, my most vivid memories with others are over food. of course.
i remember when my mom would make leche flan. it’d be gone by the end of the night. no leftovers, because it was too creamy and caramel-y to resist.
my mom used to have this same exact cookbook. we’d pull it out whenever we were baking or making something that wasn’t in our usual rotation. i’d pull open the drawer, and pull out the cookbook with its tattered purple cover and the stains of food adventures on almost every page.
we’d mix everything together and in the oven in 10 minutes. then, my mom and i would chit-chat about the day’s happenings and go off on random tangents, because that’s just the way we were.
in under an hour, we’d have leche flan cooling on the counter and the smell of caramel and custard enveloping us.
this is real, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. it doesn’t get any better than this, i promise you that much. if you’ve never experienced filipino desserts, i recommend this be your first kitchen adventure. making it someone is an added plus.
yield one 9” pie pan (about 6 servings)
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup vanilla sugar*
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup condensed milk
3/4 cup vanilla extract
*you can also use regular sugar. to make vanilla sugar, add a scraped out vanilla bean to a jar of sugar. that sugar will take on the essence of vanilla. you can use it for anything!
preheat oven to 350. in a small pan, add 1/3 cup sugar and melt over medium low heat. when sugar turns golden brown, add 2 tablespoons of water and stir until combined. pour into a 9” pie pan and swirl it around.
in a medium bowl, combine eggs, remaining sugar, milk, condensed milk, and vanilla extract. pour into the pie pan on top of caramelized sugar. bake in a water bath for 30-40 minutes until set. remove from oven and cool. put in refrigerator to chill before serving.
when ready to serve, run a knife around the rim of the pie pan to release flan. place a plate on top of the pie pan and flip over onto plate. cut into slices and serve.