In this month’s Kulinarya Cooking Club, we feature Leche Flan. This popular Philippine dessert has its origins from the flan from Spain. Melted sugar is poured over a ramekin or pudding container and allowed to caramelize. Then over this, a custard mixture of milk, eggs, egg yolks and sugar (and a hint of flavouring like lemon, lime or vanilla) is poured. The leche flan is then steamed on the stove top or baked in a bain marie. Once done, instructions require the dessert to be cooled (usually a few hours) and then turned over on a plate.
To me, the most nerve wrecking moment is when I flip the leche flan dish over a plate – I hold my breath thinking, will the leche flan have set? Will it break in half? Or will it fall out in one piece? Will it come out smooth and creamy?
While there is a family recipe for leche flan, I thought it might be interesting to try something different and so instead of my Mum’s recipe I used a recipe from Pichet Ong’s The Sweet Spot. It was a recipe for Coconut Palm Sugar Flan which I had been eyeing for sometime. So off I went to make it and even if baked the flan ten minutes less than what the recipe called for, I still managed to over-baked the flan and it didn’t come out smooth and creamy as I had hoped. The addition of coconut milk however was interesting and I may try to tweak the recipe in the future.
If anyone has any suggestions on how to improve this recipe – please let me know! :)
- 257 grams crushed palm sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 454 grams whole milk
- 200 grams unsweetened coconut milk
- 98 grams finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut
- 150 grams sugar
- 58 grams evaporated milk
- 4 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon fleur de sel or maldon salt (optional)
- Put the palm sugar, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water into a small saucepan, set over medium high heat, and cook, stirring to dissolve the sugar if necessary until the mixture becomes dark brown and registers 175 c on a candy thermometer, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Carefully divide the caramel among twelve 115 grams ramekins.
- Put the milk, coconut milk, coconut, sugar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into a medium saucepan, set over medium heat and warm, stirring occasionally, until bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 175 c (Note: I only set the oven to 155 c, fan-forced)
- Add the evaporated milk to the coconut mixture.
- Whisk the eggs and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl until the yolks are broken, then add the milk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on the coconut to extract as much liquid as possible. Set the mixture in a larger bowl filled with ice and chill completely until cold.
- Divide the coconut mixture among the prepared ramekins and put in a deep baking dish. Carefully pour enough water into the pan, without spilling any into the ramekins, to reach halfway up the ramekins. Bake until the flan is just set, about 45 minutes (I baked this for only 35) – the sides should be firm but the center still quite jiggly. Cool completely in the pan.
- Serve the flan once it has cooled, or for even better results, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Invert the flan onto serving plates. If the flan seems stuck, run a thin bladed knife around the edges of each ramekin, and then invert. Sprinkle each with fleur de sel if desired.
Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine.
Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.
If you’re interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our foodblogs and leave a comment – we would love to hear from you!
Asha – http://forkspoonnknife.blogspot.com/