Have you heard of “leche flan”? “Leche Flan” is the Filipino version of Crème brûlée and is also known as Crème caramel. The main difference with this Filipino dessert is that leche flan is Jello-like in consistency, while crème brûlée is pudding-like.
Another difference is how the leche flan is cooked. In the Philippines, the sugar is melted then placed in an aluminum oval dish called a “llanera.” After that the flan mixture is poured. The flan is then placed in a steamer. Once done, it is cooled and turned upside down. The melted sugar will cascade down the flan like caramel. The twist to this cooking method is to use a baking pan with rack instead of a steamer.
All-Time Filipino Favorite Dessert
The leche flan is famous in Philippine celebrations such as fiestas, birthdays, Christmas, New Year, and other large family gatherings. Filipinos are known for having large families and love celebrations, so leche flan is always a staple dessert. Filipinos also love sweets. In fact, most of the Filipino recipes are sweetened. For example, if you’ve tasted the Filipino version of spaghetti at Jollibee, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I guess this love for sweets is what makes Filipino recipes unique and delicious.
This unique dessert recipe was shared by my cousin who is from North Carolina. For this recipe, I used the Kitchenatics baking rack with pan instead of a steamer. What I did was to pour 4 cups of water in the half sheet baking pan, set the roasting rack on top, placed it in the oven, and preheated the oven to 350 F. Using the baking rack with pan works like a steamer and cooks the flan with just the right temperature. Be careful not to overcook the flan. Otherwise, it’s gonna look like scrambled eggs.
My son, Charles, is a little flan monster. He loves this dessert so much that he devours it right in the middle!
Try this delicious Filipino version of creme brulee for dessert! Don’t forget to share this recipe with your friends, too!
Try another of our dessert recipes Skillet Cookie Sundae!
Leche Flan, the Filipino Dessert
- 10 large egg yolks
- 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
- 1 can (14 oz) condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- little zest of lemon
- In a nonstick small pan, dissolve 1 cup of white sugar.
- Cook it slowly on medium to low heat. Watch it closely to avoid burning, stirring consistently. Once melted, pour it in a custard cup or leche flan molder. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to cool.
- Combine all ingredients above and mix it using a stand mixer for about 10 minutes. It's faster that way. You can also use a wire mixer but you have to exert extra effort until you get a creamy and frothy consistency.
- When the mixture is done, pour it slowly into the custard container.
- Cover all custard containers with a foil. This will help in the steaming process inside the oven.
- Arrange them on the cooling rack in the oven.
- Bake for 50 minutes. You can also check by inserting a small toothpick on the flan. If the toothpick comes out clean, the flan is done.
- Take the flan out of the oven and let it cool. I usually let it cool for few minutes and place it inside the fridge.
- To serve, invert the custard container in a plate and watch the caramel drizzle down the flan!
- As a twist, I sprinkled some cinnamon powder over the flan since I am not a fan of too much sugar. You can also add the cinnamon to the flan mixture or some nutmeg, depending on your taste.