The Most Delcious Flan You Will Ever Taste

This flan was so good that I forgot I was supposed to take a picture of it! 

This flan was so good that I forgot I was supposed to take a picture of it! 

I used to think that it was acceptable to make flan from a box, something akin to making Jell-O. (One of the rare “instant” foods you can occasionally find in Cuba is packaged flan, imported from Mexico.) But then I tried our housekeeper’s and it was revelatory. Flan is one of those things you encounter in almost every restaurant and home across Cuba. But our housekeeper M’s has so far been the best we have tasted, no joke. Her secret: a blender, important to eliminate the lumps. Also, I learned from M that there’s no gelatin in a good, homemade flan — it’s just the gentle steam of a double boiler that creates its soft, gentle texture.

Making this in Cuba comes with its challenges -- for one thing, even though the ingredients are simple, there are some times when I can't find sugar in the markets -- in a country that practically invented the sweetener! Eggs and milk are sometimes a challenge. Also, double boilers are difficult to source (and we neglected to ship one when we moved here). In Cuba, we improvise one by inserting a bundt pan inside of a steaming pot of water. The bundt pan makes it cook more rapidly. The active time on this homemade dish is 10-15 minutes and another 15 minutes for steaming — making it much quicker, and way more delicious, than your “instant” flan from a box.  

For the caramel: 
3 tbs white sugar
1/4 cup water

For the flan: 

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups water
1 tsp vanilla

Place the ingredients for the caramel in a small saucepan and heat over a medium flame, stirring occasionally until the sugar browns and thickens. Turn off heat. Pour into a bundt pan. 

Place all the flan ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into the bundt pan, over the caramel. Place the pan in a large pot partially filled with water and cover. Boil for 20 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Let cool for at least 30 minutes then invert onto a plate. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.