The dish was supposedly created by a Spanish nun who worked in an orphanage in Guadalajara, where the children suffered from malnutrition. The nun decided to increase the amount of protein and calcium the children received by making a flan that required milk, eggs and sugar. One day, she accidentally burnt it, but the children still loved it, so it became the new way of making flan in Jalisco. It was named after Jérica, the region in Spain where the nun came from. This flan is similar to creme brulee, but is paler in colour, with a slightly curdled texture.
- 500 ml (2 cups) milk
- 125 g caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
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.
You will need 8 x 100 ml ovenproof moulds for this recipe.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place milk, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes to infuse. Remove from heat. Discard cinnamon.
Beat eggs in a large bowl, then gradually pour in milk mixture, stirring to combine. Transfer to a clean saucepan, whisking slowly, then cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 3 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Stir in vanilla.
Pour into 8 x 100 ml ovenproof moulds, then place in a deep roasting pan. Fill the pan with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the moulds. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until tops are golden brown and custard is set.
Photography by Mark Roper.