If you are looking to recreate a typical Argentine ‘flan mixto’ at home, serve with whipped cream and a mountain of dulce de leche.
There are many variations of flan made throughout Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries, and each household will have its own special take.
- 300 g (10½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) full-cream (whole) milk
- 2 1 cm (½ in) wide strips lemon peel
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp plain (all-purpose) flour
- 8 eggs
- pinch of sea salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: 6 hours
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place a 22-cm (8¾ in) non-springform cake tin inside a large deep-sided baking dish.
- Heat 100 g (3½ oz) of the sugar in a small frying pan over medium heat. Without stirring, cook the sugar until it starts to turn golden. Carefully swirl the pan over the heat so the sugar melts and cooks to an even dark-golden colour. Working quickly, pour the syrup into the cake tin. Swirl the tin so the caramel evenly coats the base. It’s fine if some of the caramel coats the side of the tin as well. Set aside.
- Combine the milk, lemon peel and vanilla in a saucepan and place over medium–high heat. As soon as the mixture boils, remove from the heat and set aside for about 10 minutes.
- Remove and discard the lemon peel.
- Whisk the remaining sugar, the flour, eggs and salt in a bowl until well combined. Pour the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overbeat. Strain this mixture through a fine sieve into the cake tin.
- Pour enough boiling water into the baking dish to come half way up the side of the cake tin. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden.
- Remove the cake tin from the baking dish and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- To remove the caramel flan from the tin, run a small knife under hot water then dry. Run the hot knife around the edge of the tin.
- Gently twist the cake tin from side to side. You should see the flan move freely from the tin. Place a large plate over the tin and quickly invert the flan onto the plate. Pour over any remaining caramel from the tin, cut into thick slices and serve.
Recipe from The Food of Argentina by Ross Dobson and Rachel Tolosa Paz, Smith Street Books, RRP $44.99