Every Filipino have had a taste, and we all know how delicious it is. Leche Flan! It’s soft, beautiful, dark yellow color with it’s golden caramel drizzle on top. Who couldn’t resist? For sure, you’ve seen how this dessert is made once, twice, or even more in your life. But haven’t you ever wondered how it’s able to maintain it’s oblong shape, despite having all wet ingredients? Well it’s the main ingredient that does the job.
Eggs and gluten proteins are the most important structure builders in baking. When heated, egg and proteins stiffen and create structure in the baked good. It also affects the colorization of the crust of a baked good and provides flavor due to the lipids in the yolk. Eggs can also increase the nutritional value of the baked goods because of the protein, calcium, iron, and potassium that it contains.
Eggs are composed of dozens of different kinds of proteins. These proteins look like coiled up molecules surrounded by water. As the oven temperature rises, these coiled up molecules untangle and bond with one another to form clusters. These clusters of coagulated egg protein trap water and form a continuous network that surrounds air cells. Eventually, water escapes the egg and gluten proteins, which causes them to dry out and stiffen. This gives the baked good a rigid structure, and it is this structure that helps set the final size and shape of baked goods.
For every leche flan recipe, there will always be this essential equipment, llanera molds. It’s a small tin container that can be placed above an open flame and inside the oven. You can purchase these for a low cost at the market or local bakeshops. If you don’t have any llanera molds, you may use ceramic ramekins.
For this recipe, we’ll be needing:
- 9 tablespoons sugar
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 can or 300mL sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can or 370mL evaporated milk
- Let’s begin by preheating the oven to 375 F / 190 C
- Take out your llanera molds and place 3 tablespoons of sugar in each one
- Open your stove and set it on low heat
- Place the llanera directly over the flames using thongs
- Let the sugar melt and swirl it around until the sugar is melted and has that golden color
- Use your senses! Your nose will tell you exactly if the sugar is over heated
- Once done, take it off the heat, set it aside and let it cool completely
- While waiting for the sugar to cool, place the 12 egg yolks, condensed milk and evaporated milk in a bowl and stir then gently
- Do not over mix! You wouldn’t want your leche flan to be porous or bubbly
- Strain the mixture using a cheesecloth or strainer, and pour them into the prepared llaneras
- Cover them with foil and place it in an oven-safe dish with about 1 inch of water
- Put it in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes to an hour
Once finished baking, you may let it cool on its own or place it inside the refrigerator. When cooled, simply flip the llanera over a plate and gently wiggle it until the leche flan falls off. Or you may simply grab a spoon and eat it as it is!