The Ultimate Crème Caramel (Leche Flan)

This is my version of the Ultimate Crème Caramel – the perfect balance of a sweet egg custard with a slight punch of lemon. It’s definitely rich, smooth, and creamy!

The Ultimate Creme Caramel (Leche Flan) Recipe - a perfect balance of a sweet egg custard with a slight punch of lemon. It’s definitely rich, smooth, and creamy! | www.SpoonfulOfButter.com

Crème Caramel is a baked custard dessert. These custards are cooked in a water bath then turned and served with the caramel sauce on top. I have tried many versions of this and I think I nailed the perfect ratio of eggs to milk. The lemon zest adds a lemony zing to the custard and makes you want to take some more bites.

In Philippines, we call this dessert leche flan. “Leche”, which means milk in Spanish, is one of the main ingredients. It is a very popular dessert during parties, holidays, and fiestas.

The Ultimate Creme Caramel (Leche Flan) Recipe - a perfect balance of a sweet egg custard with a slight punch of lemon. It’s definitely rich, smooth, and creamy! | www.SpoonfulOfButter.com

Tools & Equipment

To make this creme-caramel you’ll need the following:

Ingredients

  • 75 grams white granulated sugar (6 tablespoons)
  • 30 milliliters water (2 tablespoons)
  • 144 grams egg yolks (around 8 large eggs)
  • 276 grams condensed milk (1 cup)
  • 236 grams evaporated milk (1 cup)
  • zest of 1 lemon
The Ultimate Creme Caramel (Leche Flan) Recipe - a perfect balance of a sweet egg custard with a slight punch of lemon. It’s definitely rich, smooth, and creamy! | www.SpoonfulOfButter.com

How to Make

Make the Caramel

Place the sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, until sugar is melted and golden. Tilt and swirl the saucepan to ensure even melting. No need to stir. Be careful not to overcook the sugar or it will taste bitter.

Once the sugar is golden in color, stand back and pour the water into the pan. It will boil and spit briefly. Quickly swirl the pan to distribute the water then pour and divide the caramel evenly into the 2 ramekins. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

Make the Custard

Break the egg yolks and gently mix (not beat) them.

In a container, preferably with a spout, add the egg yolks, condensed milk, and evaporated milk. Stir the custard mixture in circular motion to prevent bubbles from forming.

The secret to a smooth and creamy flan is to strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth. This process removes the bits of eggs and makes your custard silky.

After straining, stir in the lemon zest. Divide the custard mixture between the 2 ramekins then cover with foil.

The Ultimate Creme Caramel (Leche Flan) Recipe - a perfect balance of a sweet egg custard with a slight punch of lemon. It’s definitely rich, smooth, and creamy! | www.SpoonfulOfButter.com

Bake in a Baine-Marie

Don’t you worry, baine-marie is the fancy term for a hot water bath.

Because eggs are extremely sensitive to heat, they require a gentle, even temperature so they don’t cook too quickly and curdle or split. The water bath works by absorbing the heat and distributing it gently and evenly around the custard.

Find a baking dish with high sides that will hold all your ramekins, like a roasting pan or a rectangular cake pan. Place your covered ramekins inside the large dish then pour hot water into the large dish so that it comes to about halfway up the outsides of the ramekins.  

Transfer the whole dish in an oven that was preheated to 375 F (190 F) and bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of custard comes out clean.

Cool and Serve

Remove ramekins from the oven. Let them cool before putting in the fridge to set, about three hours.

To serve, turn flan over on a serving plate ending with the caramel on top.

The Ultimate Creme Caramel (Leche Flan) Recipe - a perfect balance of a sweet egg custard with a slight punch of lemon. It’s definitely rich, smooth, and creamy! | www.SpoonfulOfButter.com

The Ultimate Crème Caramel (Leche Flan)

This could be the best creme caramel (leche flan) you'll ever taste! Make your flan incredibly smooth and creamy by doing one simple step. The recipe is easy to follow. #lecheflan #custard #flan #Filipino
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 2 5-inch flans
Author: trish | SpoonfulOfButter.com

Ingredients

  • 75 grams 6 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 30 ml 2 tablespoons water
  • 144 grams from around 8 large eggs egg yolks
  • 276 grams 1 cup condensed milk
  • 236 grams 1 cup evaporated milk
  • zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

Preparation:

  • Heat oven to 375 F (190 C).

Make the Caramel:

  • Place the sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, until sugar is melted and golden. Tilt and swirl the saucepan to ensure even melting. No need to stir. Once the sugar is golden in color, stand back and pour the water into the pan. It will boil and spit briefly. Quickly swirl the pan to distribute the water then pour and divide the caramel evenly into the 2 ramekins. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

Make the Custard:

  • Break the egg yolks and gently mix (not beat) them. In a container, preferably with a spout, add the egg yolks, condensed milk, and evaporated milk. Stir the custard mixture in circular motion to prevent bubbles from forming. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth. Do not skip this step! This is the secret to a smooth and creamy flan!) After straining, stir in the lemon zest then divide the custard mixture between the 2 ramekins. Cover with foil.

Bake in a Baine-Marie

  • Place your covered ramekins inside a large baking dish then pour hot water into the large dish so that it comes to about halfway up the outsides of the ramekins. Transfer the whole dish in an oven bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of custard comes out clean.

Cool and Serve

  • Remove from oven, allow to cool, and refrigerate to set. To serve, turn flan over on a serving plate ending with the caramel on top.

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