This is my all-time favorite Flan, that I like to say has garnered me a multi-thousand dollar wardrobe from Double D, a superior couture type designer of high fashion Southwestern clothes. It all started with the fact that the President of the company loved this Flan recipe from my original "Tex-Mex" cookbook.
(Custard with Caramel Topping)
Years ago, my Mexican aunt shared this, her favorite flan recipe. It is fool proof if you carefully follow the instructions and it is so delicious.
Yield: 4 – 6 servings
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
3 1/2 cups milk
1 cinnamon stick, preferably canela or Mexican cinnamon
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
Cold unsalted butter, for buttering custard cups
1. Caramelize ½ cup sugar in a small skillet over medium high heat, stirring constantly until sugar is melted and browned. Pour immediately into the bottoms of 10 to 12 well buttered 4 ounce custard cups.
2. Beat eggs until well mixed with a simple whisk. Gradually add the remaining cup of sugar, beating after each addition to dissolve the sugar. Do not beat until foamy.
3. Heat the milk with the cinnamon stick until warm. Add milk to egg flan mixture, stirring to combine well. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
4. Pour into the caramel-lined custard cups. Set cups on a cloth towel in a 10 x 14 pan(or one large enough to hold the custards) of hot water and bake in a 350 F oven for 35 minutes, or until they are slightly bubbled up and barely jiggle when the water bath pan is shaken a bit. (I prefer to not insert a knife, as it will make a hole. However an inserted knife should come out clean when done.) Overbaking is a popular problem. Do not bake past the point of doneness. Allow to cool for at least three to four hours. To serve, warm slightly in the microwave (about three minutes) or in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes or until the liquid in the bottom has softened and they slide out easily. Then using a table knife, insert it against the side of each bowl and invert onto a small dessert plate.
Notes: One large flan can be made if preferred. It will take longer to cool and must be made one day in advance.