This wondrous recipe is the Cuban version of the universally known European Créme Caramel , which, despite its French name, was born in Spain. The classical recipe is based on just milk, eggs and sugar; the Cubans substituted the fresh milk with powdered and condensed milk, probably easier to find, thus creating a dramatically different texture. Richer and creamier, trust me, it is a dream come true.
- 1 tin condensed milk (397 gr)
- 200 gr powdered milk
- 3 whole free-range eggs
- 1 tbsp natural vanilla powder (or, half a vanilla bean, halved and scraped)
- 125 ml water
- 200 caster sugar for the caramel
In a small saucepan place the sugar, put on low heat and let it caramelize: do not stir the sugar until melted and darkened. Coat a 1.2 liter baking tin with the caramel and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the powdered milk with the water and whisk well; add the condensed milk and mix thoroughly through in order to eliminate any lumps (you can use an immersion blender to reach this goal perfectly), then add the eggs.
Add the vanilla, combine everything together and pour the mixture in the caramelized tin using a sieve to remove any remaining lumps and, especially, any bubbles.
Cover with aluminum foil, put the tin in a baking pan with boiling water and bake bain-marie in the oven, still, at 180°C for 75 minutes. Check the surface: if the flan is set, take it out of the oven, otherwise prolong the baking for an additional 15 minutes. Remove the tin from the pan, let it cool to room temperature then place in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
To unmold the flan, gently scrape along the edges with a round-bladed knife, then turn upside down on a dish. Serve cold.