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Leche Flan Filipino Creme Caramel

Indulge in Sweet Bliss with Leche Flan (Filipino Creme Caramel): A Taste of Filipino Tradition

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Embark on a culinary journey through the rich tapestry of Filipino desserts with Leche Flan—a velvety, caramel-infused custard that embodies the sweetness of Filipino hospitality. This time-honored treat has graced countless celebrations, from family gatherings to festive occasions. Join us as we unravel the secrets of crafting the perfect Leche Flan, allowing you to bring a touch of Filipino tradition into your kitchen and create a dessert that captures the hearts of all who taste it.

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Ingredients:

For the Caramel:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

For the Leche Flan:

  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 calamansi or 1/2 a lemon (optional, for a citrusy twist)

Instructions:

Step 1 – Caramel Creation:

  • In a saucepan, combine granulated sugar and water over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then let it simmer without stirring until the mixture turns a deep amber color. Quickly pour the caramel into the base of your flan mold, spreading it evenly. Allow it to cool and harden.

Step 2 – Egg Yolk Elegance:

  • In a bowl, gently whisk the egg yolks until well combined. Be careful not to incorporate too much air into the yolks.

Step 3 – Velvety Fusion:

  • Add sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk to the egg yolks, whisking continuously. Ensure a smooth and creamy consistency.

Step 4 – Aromatic Infusion:

  • Incorporate vanilla extract and, if desired, the zest of calamansi or lemon for a subtle citrusy aroma. Mix well to evenly distribute the flavors.

Step 5 – Strain for Silky Smoothness:

  • Strain the custard mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a separate bowl. This step ensures a silky-smooth texture for your Leche Flan.

Step 6 – Mold Magic:

  • Carefully pour the custard mixture over the hardened caramel in the flan mold. Tap the mold gently on the counter to remove air bubbles.

Step 7 – Bain-Marie Brilliance:

  • Cover the flan mold with aluminum foil and place it in a larger baking pan. Fill the pan with hot water, creating a bain-marie (water bath) to gently cook the custard.

Step 8 – Oven Oasis:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C). Bake the Leche Flan in the water bath for approximately 50-60 minutes or until the custard is set but still slightly jiggly in the center.

Step 9 – Cool and Unmold:

  • Allow the Leche Flan to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Once chilled, run a knife along the edges of the mold and invert it onto a serving plate, letting the caramel sauce cascade over the custard.

Cook Notes:

  • To achieve a smooth and lump-free custard, it’s essential to strain the mixture before pouring it into the mold.
  • The bain-marie ensures gentle and even cooking, preventing the custard from curdling.

Additional Tips:

  • Experiment with different citrus zests, such as orange or lime, to add unique flavor dimensions.
  • Consider using a llanera (oval-shaped aluminum mold) for an authentic presentation.

Variations:

Coconut Cream Twist: Replace the evaporated milk with coconut cream for a tropical touch, transforming your Leche Flan into a decadent Coconut Flan.

Pandan Paradise: Infuse the custard mixture with pandan extract or fresh pandan leaves for a fragrant and vibrant green Pandan Leche Flan.

Ube Extravaganza: Incorporate ube (purple yam) into the custard for a delightful twist, creating a visually stunning and flavorful Ube Leche Flan.

Keto Version:

Keto-Friendly Sweeteners: Substitute granulated sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener like erythritol or monk fruit for the caramel and custard.

Low-Carb Milk Alternatives: Replace sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk with low-carb alternatives, such as unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk.

Keto Caramel: Craft a keto-friendly caramel using a sugar substitute and water, ensuring a rich and sweet topping for your Leche Flan.

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Low-Carb Version:

Caramel with Low-Carb Sweeteners: Use a low-carb sweetener for the caramel, maintaining the classic caramelized flavor without the added carbohydrates.

Low-Carb Milk Substitutes: Explore low-carb milk substitutes like unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk to create a creamy custard with reduced carbohydrates.

Minimalist Magic: Create a simplified version by focusing on the essential ingredients, emphasizing the richness of egg yolks and the creaminess of low-carb milk.

As you savor the velvety layers of Leche Flan, let the richness of Filipino tradition and the sweetness of this beloved dessert transport you to a place of joy and celebration. Whether you follow the classic recipe, explore variations, or tailor it to specific dietary preferences, this dessert embodies the essence of shared moments and the pleasure that comes from indulging in a time-honored treat.

Share the delight of Leche Flan with family and friends, making it a cherished part of your gatherings and celebrations. As you enjoy the luscious combination of caramelized sweetness and creamy custard, appreciate the adaptability that allows this dessert to cater to diverse tastes. It isn’t just a recipe; it’s a cultural experience—a journey into the heart of Filipino sweets, where every spoonful carries the flavors of tradition and the warmth of shared moments around the table. Let Leche Flan become a symbol of sweet memories and a delightful addition to your culinary repertoire, promising satisfaction and joy with every heavenly bite.

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