A Flan for Eddie

Eddie's Flan

Did You Know? The name "Flan" begins with a word in old French "flaon," which comes from the Latin "flado," meaning "custard." According to Platina's De Honesta Voluptate, an Italian cookery text published approximately 1475, custard-type dishes were considered health food. In addition to being nourishing, they were thought to soothe the chest, aid the kidneys and liver, increase fertility and eliminate certain urinary tract problems.

My Uncle Eddie has been one of my biggest fans of Buff Chickpea, spreading the love to all of his friends, who couldn't be nicer with their feedback. He is always emailing me with praise for my latest recipe addition, both his own and from his friends. When I last spoke with him, he mentioned something about a flan, but school was just beginning again for Spring semester, so I sort of put it in the back of my mind. When my sister told me we would be going to my Uncle Garrett's house for lunch last Sunday, and that Eddie would also be going, I remembered the flan he had such high hopes for.

I had never made anything like this before, so I was a little nervous as to the outcome. Would it set up in the fridge? Would the caramel stick to the bottom of the dish? Would I be able to invert the flan onto another dish without a huge collapse? Yes, yes, and yes. The flan could not have been easier to make, and was even easier to flip out of the glass pan, with Eddie's help, making for quite the presentation.

The final product resulted in an incredibly smooth and creamy custard. I was hesitant about the texture, but my first bite erased any and all initial doubts. Sweet, but not overly so, and enriched with vanilla and hazelnut undertones, it reminded me of a lightened creme brulee. Popularized by the Latin community, my Uncle assured me I had created some stiff competition for his flan-obsessed friends. Competing for the perfect flan has resulted in a number of taste testings by my uncle, and when he told me his friends had some work to do to catch up to me, I couldn't have been more pleased.

La Golondrina Cafe's Flan
Adapted from the Los Angeles Times

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)
5 eggs
2 1/2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk
1 1/2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
1 3/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon amaretto
1 tablespoon vanilla

In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the sugar with the orange juice and one-fourth cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to cook until the sugar caramelizes and turns an amber color, then remove from the heat and immediately pour into a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish and allow to cool to room temperature. It will harden to the bottom of the dish. Don't worry, as it cooks and cools, it will turn into a syrup and make for easy removal out of the dish.*

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, then whisk in the condensed, evaporated and regular milks. Whisk in the amaretto and vanilla, and then pour into the baking dish over the caramel.

Place the dish inside a large roasting pan (the roasting pan must be big enough so that there is a 1-inch clearance on all sides) and fill it with enough hot water so that it comes halfway up the side of the glass baking dish. Place the pan in the oven and cook 2 hours, until a knife inserted near the center of the flan comes out clean. It will be quite jiggly at this point, but will set as it cools. Remove the flan from the water bath and allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator, loosely covered, to chill until cold, preferably overnight. Invert onto a platter and serve immediately.

*As this was my first time baking flan, I was nervous about getting it out of the glass dish when it came time to invert it. To my delight, it slid right out, no problem. But in case there were any issues, I had made a caramel sauce and whipped cream to hide any blemishes. An excellent addition, but not needed by any means. The syrup that emerged naturally from the flan itself was more than enough to drizzle on top of each serving.

Eddie's Flan

To return the proud uncle love, I encourage all of you to check out "The Calico Buffalo," seen in the right sidebar. It's a wonderfully composed book, with a beautiful message, written and illustrated by my extremely talented Uncle Eddie.


  1. My bf LOVES flan. I'm not a fan, but maybe if he's super nice, I'll try this recipe for him. :-)

  2. Smooth, creamy... perfect dessert.

  3. I have been making a delicious flan for a long time, yet never one with Oj, Ill be sure to try this one out. I look forward to reading all your posts, your pics are beautiful and you recipies encourage me to cook more.

  4. So glad this turned out (really turned over) pefectly for you. Flans make me nervous too! But you did awesome. Lucky Eddie!

  5. I love flan, it's one of my favorites. I usually make my mom's recipe, and oftentimes I don't even bother to invert the pan, just eat it as is :)

  6. Looks so smooth, creamy and delicious!

  7. How very lucky is Eddie!! It looks delicious!! LOVE your photo!

  8. And you got such a big slice! Can we have one? The amaretto is a nice kick to it.

  9. Ashley: Definitely give this recipe a try for him, my uncle claims it's the best he's had yet.

    VeggieGirl: You're so right, the texture was amazing.

    Anonymous: Thank you so much for your kind words, it's what keeps me cooking. I'd love to hear your recipe for flan.

    Dawn: Thanks Dawn, I was so surprised how easily it slid right out. So no need for you to be nervous either!

    Sara: I'd love to hear your mom's recipe.

    pigpigscorner: Your description nailed it, sooo good.

    Donna-FFW: Thanks Donna, it's the least I could do for all the people he tells about my site.

    The Duo Dishes: Haha, I wish it were mailable(?), and the amaretto added such a warm flavor.

  10. Huh, I've learned something new now! This is definitely my type of health food... ;)

  11. Your flan looks gorgeous and creamy! I used to love flan, maybe I should try a vegan version sometime

  12. I've never really been a fan of flan, usually because I find it too cloying. But your description sounds just right: slightly astringent, with flavor winning out over pure sweetness. I will definitely give flan another chance :)

  13. flans are such a simple yet decadent dessert! Lovely!!

  14. beautiful! orange and amaretto go so well together.

  15. Hayley- There is something for you at my blog.. please pick it up:)

  16. By the way, have I ever told you how much I love the "Did You Know" section? They're always so interesting and kind of random. Like, now I know all about the history of cutard. Love it! (But I'm a total history geek, so there you go).

  17. Your uncle is one lucky guy! Flan is one of my favourite dessert too. I even prefer it over creme caramel because it uses sweetened condensed milk (something I could eat straight out of the can with a spoon).

  18. i adore Flan, i've always called it Flan for Lan. it reminds me of my grandfather and father, they used to make this for me exclusively as a kid and now that i know how to make it for myself, it's great but just not the same... it's so great that you have such support for your uncle! :)

  19. What a nice story. Your uncle must be a very special person and your flan looks equally special!

  20. Awww, what a terrific story. So nice to have a supportive family member.

    Your flan looks gorgeous. I love flan, the creamy, smoothness of the filling is so good and then the bite of the caramel. Yum, just doesn't do it justice.


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