Flan is a custard topped with caramel. It is a very popular dessert in Spain, Latin America and Caribbean countries. There are endless varieties of flans. Mexican flans start from a similar base mixture: whole eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, sugar and vanilla extract. This flan was made with cranberry sauce and cream cheese, a celebration of our Mexican-Canadian heritage.
For the caramel:
- 1 cup of white or brown sugar
For the flan:
- 4 whole eggs at room temperature
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can of evaporated milk
- 4 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 package of cream cheese 8oz (226 g)
- 1 cup of cranberry sauce*
* For the cranberry sauce:
- 2 cups of fresh cranberries
- The juice of 1/2 orange
- 1/4 tsp. orange zest
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp. room temperature water
- 2 tsp. corn starch
Step 1: Make the cranberry sauce:
In a sauce pan combine the cranberries, vanilla extract, orange juice and sugar. Combine the water and corn starch separately, then add it to the sauce. Let the sauce simmer (about 10 to 15 minutes). Reserve.
Step 2: Make the caramel:
In the stove, melt the sugar in a small sauce pan over low heat. Stir frequently until the sugar becomes liquid. Pour it into a large springform pan or a circular baking pan. Move the pan to ensure the caramel covers the bottom of the pan evenly. Reserve.
Step 3: Make the flan:
Preheat oven at 350°F (175°C).
Mix and blend the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, cream cheese and 1 cup of cranberry sauce (leave some of the cranberry sauce to garnish the flan).
Pour the flan mixture into the springform or circular baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil.
Prepare the water bath (a.k.a. “bain-marie” or “baño maría”): Boil 1 liter of water.
Note: if you are using a springform pan that might leak, cover the bottom and around the pan with 2 layers of aluminum foil.
Cover the top of the springform pan with aluminum foil, then place it in the middle of a roasting pan. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, it should cover about 2 inches.
Bake the flan for 1 hour until firm.
Let the flan cool completely then place it in the fridge for about 2 hours before serving.
To serve, run a knife in between the springform pan and the flan. Place a large plate on top of the flan and flip it carefully to avoid spilling the caramel. Garnish the flan with some of the cranberry sauce.