Sunday, July 08, 2007

Leche Flan (using Whole Eggs)

Whole Egg Leche Flan is very creamy!
I had a post about leche flan in my old kusina, but the how-to's were in a geocities page which is now not viewable. Since there have been those who requested, I am now re-posting it, with my fave recipe and my usual methods.

My MIL usually sneaks into the kitchen to get a slice of this when we get together even before dinner is served on some special occasions. "It kinda grows on you," she said. (Her initial acceptance was mild, now she's kinda addicted to it, so whenever I get lots of fresh eggs from them, I make one for them.)

Some think that egg whites prevent the leche flan from turning very creamy. This is still creamy, and the outcome has a lot to do with the technique in preparation. I do it slow and low (long, 1-hr baking in a water bath on low temp of 295 deg F). Some think using the strainer is the best way to make it smooth. I (the radical me) have made use of the pulse setting of a blender (short bursts only) to make a homogenous mixture with minimal waste (Have you tried using the strainer for this purpose? Then you know how hard it is to push the eggwhite through the mesh, and how hard it is to clean it up later). I like this reecipe not only because it tastes so good in my opinion (I got the recipe from Milkmaid label sometime when I was still in high school), but also it does not make me crazy trying to figure out what to do with the egg whites (like the recipe using egg yolks only). And more importantly, egg white is mainly protein, and egg yolk is mostly cholesterol. So, I really do not want to waste protein and make the egg flan cholesterol-laden, when I can have very rich-tasting leche flan this way (any of my friends who have tasted this can attest to that. In fact, whenever we get together and they see a leche flan on the table, they blurt out "Yehey! Pinagdasal ko yan na gumawa ka ng leche flan. Buti gumawa ka!" I have tasted the yolk-only flan, and to me, it is just too rich, like the cheesecake that my SIL makes and I am not crazy about (nor is my husband, so I am not too motivated to make one). Hence, I have been making this for >20 yrs (steamed when I was in PI on moderate heat for 30 minutes covered with foil, now baked in water bath for 1 hr or so at 295 F).

UPDATE as of March 2008: I brought this as my contribution to a fund-raising activity we had at work, and according to my co-workers, many were asking who made this rich cheesecake-like dessert, and they were raving about it. It was such a big hit!

1/2 cup white sugar
4 whole eggs
1 can condensed milk (14-oz)
1 can evaporated milk (15-oz)
1 tsp vanilla (alternative: few drops of McCormick lemon extract essence)
(optional: 1 8-oz cream cheese + 1 additional egg for cheesecake-like flan)


NOTE: I prefer to use the oven, using water bath method.

1. Caramelize the sugar in an 8-inch round aluminum pan over low heat (#3 on my stove setting). You may swirl the pan around (use tongs to hold) or stir with a spoon once it starts to melt. It can easily scorch and will be bitter if that happens, so keep an eye on that (takes about 20-30 mins before it start melting, and I prefer a bit of bitterness like that of coffee).
UPDATE (11-21-08): You may want to try caramelizing sugar in the microwave. Place 1 cup of sugar in microwave-safe cup (Pyrex is ok) and add enough water (about 2-3 tbsp) to wet all of the sugar.  Microwave for about 4-5 minutes, keep watching starting on the 4th minutes and wait until it turns into amber-colored liquid per your preference (if you want it lighter, stop earlier). Grab with gloves on (this is very hot!) and then pour into the pan that you are going to cook your flan in, whether small custard cups or 8-in round baking pan. (Make sure your pan sits on a towel or trivet to protect your tabletop/countertop. Quickly tilt to coat before it hardens. (Tip: You may want to let your pan sit on hot water so the caramel would not harden right away once it touches the pan.) See video below.

2. While still hot and fluid, swirl to distribute the caramel to the sides and bottom of the pan.
3. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool and let the caramel solidify.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the steamer (alternatively, you may use the oven, heated to 295 degrees).
5. Mix the rest of the ingredients while heating the steamer (or oven) using the pulse setting in a blender (push the pulse button for about 3 seconds 3 times or until the mixture appears homogenous). Avoid prolonging the blending such that it creates lots of bubbles.
6. When steamer (or oven) is ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
7. Cover with foil before placing in steamer (If using oven, place the pan uncovered into a larger pan with water such that water reaches about 1 inch up the sides of of the leche flan pan- aka water bath). Steam for 30 minutes on medium heat (or bake for about 1 hr at 295 deg F).
8. Check for doneness (I prefer wiggling it rather than using toothpick. If it wiggles at the center pretty much like jello, that is done for me. If it is too fluid, I steam/bake some more.).
9. Let cool before serving (I prefer it chilled for 3 days with foil cover before eating. My in-laws and husband prefer it fresh from the oven).
10. Run a knife around the edges of the flan. Invert onto a deep platter (or pan) to serve.

P.S. This and other recipes were featured in Hannaford fresh magazine (article on page 10) for the May-June 2007 issue, but they revised some of my recipes (probably because they deemed the revisions would cater better to their general readers).

UPDATE as of 4/2/09: Here's a comment from Anna of France (she made the comment under Custard Cake):
i tried your leche flan recipe,and its perfect recipe,leche flan using egg whites,napa wow talaga ako sa texture creamy, and you are right na super rich talga pag eggyolks lang..thank you atlast my recipe na ako sa leche flan na hindi ma waste ang whites.;
thank u so much for being so kind sharing recipes like this.


JMom said...

Oh, you just reminded me, we can have this for Thanksgiving dessert too :) my daughters and I love leche flan!

Manang said...

Hi JMom,
I am not assigned to any of the winter holidays so I am making this also as my contribution, along with egg pie. My in-laws love them.

Anonymous said...

preservation of leche flan pls????

Anonymous said...

how do leche flan preserve??? how many days of duration?

Girlie said...

Hi manang,
I brought your leche flan recipe to my family get together last friday, and everybody liked it because of the just right sweetness. I do agree that the sweetness in your recipe is just right, but i did not get the same consistency as in your picture, i do not have blender so i used my mixer for few second only just to incorporate, do you think it has something to do with that? Should i try mixing it by hand instead and just steam it? i am really eager to have that texture and consistency as per your pictures hehe.

Manang said...

Hi Girlie,
Yeah, the mixer will have incorporated more air into the mixture, whereas the blender, with its blades sticking up, will just cut through the eggs blend beautifully as long as it is on pulse setting. You could have just tried blending by hand, then use the sieve or cheesecloth to cut through the eggs. Whether baked or steamed, it does not matter.

janis said...

i always make leche flan using egg yolks only (same reason, to make it more creamy). will surely try this recipe. thanks for sharing!

Janice said...

I love flan, I used to make these for filipino parties when I was younger with my parents. This flan looks great

Manang said...

Hi Janice,
Pareho tayo. Ako rin lagi ang toka nun sa leche flan when I learned to make them as a teenager using a recipe from Milkmaid label.

Mitzi said...


I have never made a leche flan as perfect as with this recipe! Laging palpak ang leche flan ko kaya di ako gumagawa nito. Pero this recipe has proven na hindi intimidating gumawa ng leche flan. The best daw sabi ng hubby kong di mahilig sa sweets :) Salamat!

Manang said...

Hi Mitzi,
Thanks for the compliments! I am glad you and your hubby liked this recipe! It is very hard to convince people to make leche flan using whole eggs...most know it as egg-yolks only, and have the notion that egg whites make it firmer. Thanks for trusting and trying my recipe, and LEAVING your comment for others to see. It means a lot to me, and will be one of the contributing factors for other readers to try this as well.

Anonymous said...

manang, i love leche flan and i know how to make it using egg yolk only so i always wasted the eggwhites. I wanna try your version "whole egg" but i don't have blender, what do you think is the best solution?

Manang said...

Hi Anonymous,
If you don't have a blender, I would suggest pouring the whole mixture into two layers of cheesecloth placed over a deep bowl, then shape it into a bag and squeeze out the mixture. This way, you will not have to "push" the mixture through a sieve if you use "salaan" and you can double run to make sure the mixture really gets homogenous.

Anonymous said...

ate 15 oz po ba talaga itong evaporated milk na sabi mo 1 can kasi po wala akong mahanap ang nandito na can sa walmart is just 12 oz pero yung condensed ok kasi 14 oz talaga sya. pwede po ba dagdagan nlng sya ng fresh milk (yung evap) to make it 15 oz o dapat talaga evap gamitin? please help me thanks..

Manang said...

Hi Anonymous,
15-oz talaga yang evap (tiningnan ko sa can bago ko inedit sa ingredients to put the exact amount), pero pwede mo dagdagan ng fresh milk or even half and half cream para mabuo yung 15-oz.

Wengy said...

hello manang, i tried this recipe the 1st batch was a failure i used small ramekins and i was not able to cover it good with the foil,na open yung foil in the steaming period but the 2nd batch was perfect,it tasted hmmmmmmmmmm....our guest for dinner loved it....thank you very much...

Anonymous said...

Hi Manang!

I was browsing for a recipe one day then I found your site. All of your recipe looks delicious! Anyway this particular recipe caught my eye as I've been wanting to try making Leche Flan. I did this last week and it was fantastic. The sweetness and the texture was perfect! Thankyou very much!Just a question po, can I make egg pie using this recipe? I think i prefer this than the traditional one. More power

Eva Saguil said...

Hi Manang,
Thank God I found your website.Thanks for all your ideas. Leche flan is one of my faves. I only use yolks with mine. I will try it with the whites. Anyway I freeze the whites and when I am ready to make angel food cake I thaw them and use them for the cake.

Anonymous said...

hi! Im in Los Angeles, a filipina wife to a very picky hubby who loves leche flan.. i will try this leche flan tonight, wish me luck!! thanks!!

Marie said...

my fave sweet dessert of all, ty for posting

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this recipe. It was my first time to make leche flan. I didn't have the time (and the patience)to caramelize the sugar so I used molasses. I didn't get the famous dark caramel colored top but the texture was very very good. For a first try I myself am impressed. Thanks again :)

joyce ira said...

Hi Manang Kusinera,

I really love your cooking blog, it inspires me to cook more for my family. My eldest daughter likes leche flan so much and my mom used to cook for her but without the egg whites. Learning from your blog, I am gonna try it today and see how yummy it will go. I hope you don't mind if I use your recipe for my cooking website as well -

I'll post the outcome once I have cooked it :-)


Anonymous said...

manang, ung picture mo dyan sa flan,may cream cheese ka bang hinalo? naguluhan kc ako sa optional eh :) kung mayron, mas masarap bang may cream cheese o wala :) hindi pa kc ako nakakagawa nito eh. thanks and more power

Manang said...

Hi anonymous,
walang cream cheese yan...actually hindi ko pa na-try maghalo ng cream cheese kasi yung recipe ko pa lang dito, enough na sa akin. Baka masyadong maging rich na nakakauyam pag me cream cheese.

Anonymous said...

hi manang kusinera, thanks for posting and sharing this recipe. this is the 3rd time i'm making this fool proof talaga very creamy and delicious, no wasted egg whites and very easy to make! less cholesterol!! thanks uli!!

Manang said...

Thanks for your feedback, Anonymous! Happy New Year to you and your family!

Candy said...

Hello po.. have u tried to mix ur recipe with all purpose cream?

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