So after one failed attempt at this month’s Daring Bakers challenge (Sans Rival), followed by another attempt that was marginally better, and then one huge pavlova, I was left with a considerable amount of egg yolk. I wasn’t really in the mood to make ice cream although I have a fabulous new ice pop maker (Zoku Ice Pop Maker) so I did a little surfing around to see what leftover egg yolk could be used for. The recipe that immediately caught my eye was the Filipino dessert of Leche Flan.
Given I didn’t have much luck with the Sans Rival, which happened to be Filipino dessert also, I felt it was more than appropriate to use some of the egg yolk towards a leche flan to make up for my shortcomings. I will give Sans Rival another try in the new year as it is rather delicious. Thanks to Catherine from Munchie Musings for hosting this month’s challenge.
Leche Flan is probably similar to a great number of other egg yolk based baked custards made around the world but I liked the simplicity of leche flan’s recipe. It barely needed more than four ingredients (take that, 4 Ingredients people…) and while it does take a while before you can enjoy it (it does need to be refrigerated for some time), I think I’ve discovered the perfect back-to-back dessert line-up: pavlova and leche flan :)
The recipe isn’t hard but it helps if you have baked a custard in a bain marie (bath of hot water within the oven) before and can make caramel. Overall the flan is like a creme caramel but with a slightly more firm custard. Plain vanilla would be lovely but adding one banana worked well with the caramel.
Banana Leche Flan (adapted from this recipe)
(makes one 12cm flan if using a mould of that dimension. I don’t recommend the flan being too tall)
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup water
5 large egg yolks
200g can sweetened condensed milk
180ml whole milk
one small ripe banana
For the caramel:
To make: Have your baking dish next to the stove — you’ll need is as soon as the sugar is done. Add the sugar to a small saucepan and pour the water over it. With the heat on low, dissolve the sugar. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover it immediately and leave on boil for 2 minutes to prevent crystals forming. Uncover and continue swirling the mixture until it becomes brown. Once generally brown all over and almost amber in colour, take it off the heat immediately and pour the caramel into your baking dish. Swirl the caramel around before it sets. Set the pan aside.
For the custard:
To make: Preheat the oven to 150C or (300F). Have a kettle of boiling water ready to go for the water bath. In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the milk, condensed milk and pinch of salt. Bring to a low simmer, making sure it doesn’t come to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, crack the egg yolks into a large bowl and whisk lightly, adding the mashed banana, or if using a Thermomix, use Speed 3 for 10 seconds with the ripe banana. Lower to Speed 2 and slowly add milk mixture in a steady stream. If doing by hand, you must keep whisking or the mixture will curdle. Careful not to aerate too much to cause bubbles so don’t go above Speed 2 if Thermomixing. Pour the custard mixture over the caramel in the baking dish. Set the baking dish in a roasting pan and place in the preheated oven. Pour boiling water in the roasting pan until halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the flan is still jiggly in the dish (you don’t want it to be totally firm, otherwise the edges will be curdled). Let cool to room temperature, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
When you’re ready to serve the flan, see if the flan is already loose in the baking dish. If so, invert onto a serving plate carefully. If the flan is stuck to the dish, warm the sides in a bowl of warm water to loosen.