Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan

Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan

(Update: Shortly after I published this leche flan recipe, I discovered a similar recipe that results to creamy flan, but this time using whole eggs. Click here for the recipe.)

Leche flan is the Filipino version of crème caramel, the French custard dessert made from eggs and milk. It has a layer of soft caramel on top and smooth custard on the bottom. As one of the most popular dessert items in the Philippines, it is usually served during parties and special occasions.

My quest for the perfect leche flan recipe (Filipino style crème caramel) came about after my dear friend Evelyn moved to a different city months ago.

I admit I was quite spoiled by her delicious cooking when she was still living close by.

We usually spent time either at her house or at my place and cooked while we babysit our kids. I missed those times and now I miss her sinigang and leche flan the most.

Her leche flan which was water-bathed in the oven was rich, smooth, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! In her absence, I was determined to figure out how to make it myself.

Filipinos traditionally cook the flan using a  steamer since not many households in Philippines own an oven. The food is being cooked by steam  generated by hot water on the bottom of a steamer basket. The pot has to be covered tightly with a lid so the steam doesn’t escape and cooks the food thoroughly.

I was unsuccessful making my first leche flan.

Even if I mixed the ingredients well, strained the mixture (only once), poured into individual tin molds, covered them with aluminum foil, and steamed on high for an hour.

The flan had tiny holes all over and the texture wasn’t smooth.

I figured I screwed up somewhere in the mixing or probably in the temperature.

So I did it again, this time paying careful attention to every details and steps.

On my second try, I avoided beating the egg mixture, rather stirred it gently using a whisk, then repeated the same steps above.

Again, I didn’t get the consistency and texture I wanted. So I had to keep trying until I got it right.

On my 6th attempt, I finally able to figure it out and share with you some important tips on how I made my steamed leche flan smooth and creamy.

• First, you need to be careful in mixing the egg yolks and milk. Do not beat the mixture. Rather give it a gentle stir in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, whichever you prefer. Beating creates air bubbles which show as tiny holes on the custard.

• Strain the mixture at least three times (or more if you’re up to it) until most of the impurities are removed. This is the ultimate secret to achieving the smoothest leche flan.

• The size and thickness of the mold affects cooking time. The smaller the mold, the faster it cooks.

In my experiment, I only use the traditional llanera specifically designed for leche flan, so I can only vouch for them. But I believe if you use different molds made of heat resistant plastic, glass, or ceramic, the same rule applies.

• Steam on low heat. That means set your stove dial to like a 2 or3. Make sure that the water in the steamer is boiling but only with few bubbles (simmering). Boiling on high causes tiny holes on the flan, especially around the sides. A gentle steady heat will help you achieve the desired result.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes-1 hour

Yields: 3 large leche flan

Ingredients:Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 02
12 egg yolks from large eggs
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or lemon zest
¾ cup white sugar (for making caramel)

Tools You’ll Need:
Can opener
Whisk
Fine mesh strainer
2 mixing bowls
Cooking spoon
Ladle
Llanera tin molds
Kitchen tong
Aluminum foil
Steamer

Procedure:
Preparing the Caramel Topping:
1. Prepare molds for leche flan as you will need them as soon as the caramel is ready.

2. Place sugar in a sauce pan and dissolve over low heat. Stir constantly and pay attention as it melts; you don’t want to burn it.

As sugar turns to light brown, turn off heat.

Divide and transfer quickly to individual molds. If you’re using a llanera, use a kitchen tong to hold it as you’re pouring the caramel because it can get very hot.

Tilt the mold when needed to distribute evenly on the bottom. Set aside to cool and harden while you prepare the egg-milk mixture.

Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 03Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 04 Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 05 Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 06Preparing Leche Flan Mixture:
1. Place egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and stir gently in a circular motion using a whisk.

Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 07 Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 082. Add the condensed and evaporated milk, and mix gently.Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 09 Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 103. Pour in the vanilla extract or lemon zest and continue mixing until smooth.Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 11Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 12 4. Strain the egg-milk mixture using a fine mesh strainer. Do this at least 3 times until most of the impurities are removed.Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 13Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 14Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 155. Use a ladle to pour mixture into individual molds. I used three llanera in 3 different sizes: XL, large, and medium.Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 16Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 176. Cut aluminum foil just enough to cover each mold.Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 18
7. Fill steamer with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil then lower heat to LOW (numbers 2-3 in your stove dial)

8. Place leche flan molds into the steamer, cover, and steam for 25 minutes for medium llanera, 35 minutes for large, and 1 hour for XL size.

To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the mixture. It should come out clean. Remove from steamer and allow to cool, still covered. Once it reaches room temperature, refrigerate overnight to help set.

Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 19 Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 209. When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge, invert into a serving plate, and cut into serving portions.Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan 21

5.0 from 2 reviews
Smooth and Creamy Steamed Leche Flan
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Filipino
Serves: 3 large leche flan
Ingredients
  • 12 egg yolks from large eggs
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or lemon zest
  • ¾ cup white sugar (for making caramel)
Instructions
  1. Prepare molds for leche flan as you will need them as soon as the caramel is ready.
  2. Place sugar in a sauce pan and dissolve on low heat. Stir constantly and pay attention as it melts; you don’t want to burn it. As sugar turns to light brown, turn off heat. Divide and transfer quickly to individual molds. If you’re using a llanera, use a kitchen tong to hold it as you’re pouring the caramel because it can get very hot. Tilt the mold when needed to distribute evenly on the bottom. Set aside to cool and harden while you prepare the egg-milk mixture.
  3. Preparing Leche Flan Mixture:
  4. Place egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and stir gently in a circular motion using a whisk.
  5. Add the condensed and evaporated milk, and mix gently.
  6. Pour in the vanilla extract or lemon zest and continue mixing until smooth.
  7. Strain the egg-milk mixture using a fine mesh strainer. Do this at least 3 times until most of the impurities are removed.
  8. Use a ladle to pour mixture into individual molds. I used three llanera in 3 different sizes: XL, large, and medium.
  9. Cut aluminum foil just enough to cover each mold.
  10. Fill steamer with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil then lower heat to LOW (numbers 2-3 in your stove dial)
  11. Place leche flan molds into the steamer, cover, and steam for 25 minutes for medium llanera, 35 minutes for large, and 1 hour for XL size. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the mixture. It should come out clean. Remove from steamer and allow to cool, still covered. When it reaches room temperature, refrigerate overnight to help set.
  12. When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge, invert into a serving plate, and cut into serving portions.

 

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