There was a time when egg custard He was the king of dessert menus in (almost) every restaurant in the country. Finishing a meal with a flan with cream was the most chic. But other desserts such as cheesecake, brownie or tiramisu arrived, they gained ground and flan fell into oblivion.
Fortunately for its fans, the tables have turned and egg custard is no longer that vintage dessert with little glamor. “We are witnessing an unstoppable rise”, says the gastronomic critic Jose Carlos Capel, “there is a new generation of custards that has been illustrated with subtle touches”.
This humble dessert is being refined by pastry chefs from many restaurants in high kitchen. In some versions the milk is exchanged for cream or for a mixture of both, in others only yolks are used or condensed milk is incorporated and in the more exotic ones, blue shell eggs from freshly laid Araucanian hens are used.
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The tricks to get a perfect egg custard
Among so many new proposals we claim the traditional egg custard recipe, origin of all current versions. We resorted to the recipe that they taught us at the Hospitality School, which defines it as a egg, milk and sugar shake, which is placed in caramelised molds and coagulated in the oven in a bain-marie.
Do not be fooled by the simplicity of the definition, because making an egg custard as required by the canons has its own. It is not impossible, but it is advisable to take into account certain aspects and apply thethe tricks so that your puddings come out perfect.
The first thing to keep in mind is that a flan with holes is a badly executed flan. So that this does not happen is It is essential not to beat the mixture but to stir until all the ingredients are integrated. If we beat we incorporate air and if we incorporate air, holes come out, so it should be avoided.
Baking is done in a bain-marie and in the oven. It is not necessary to cover the puddings, although you must make sure that the water does not boil over or splash the inside of the molds. For this, the shells of the eggs that we have used can be placed on the water.
The candy It has to give the flan a slight touch of flavor and color, but you have to be careful with the amount used. Covering the base with a thin layer is enough. Less is more.
The oven temperature must be constant, 180 ºC. Each oven is different, so you may have to do a test at home and adjust it a bit. Once the cooking time has finished, it is important to remove the molds from the water bath and let the puddings rest for 24 hours (in the fridge) before consuming.
Heat the milk with the lemon peel and the cinnamon stick. When it starts to boil, remove it from the heat and let it infuse while it cools for 30 minutes.
Mix the eggs with the sugar, stirring gently and without beating. Add the milk and stir gently until the sugar has dissolved. We pass the mixture through a fine strainer.
We cover the base of the flan with a thin layer of liquid caramel. We fill them with the mixture, carefully and slowly to do not incorporate air, and we place them in a baking dish. We fill the source with a finger of water and put it in the oven, preheated with heat up and down, at 180 ºC.
Cook for 25-30 minutes or until, when inserting a needle into the flan, it comes out dry. We remove the molds from the oven. We wait for them to warm up before putting them in the fridge and letting them stand for 24 hours.
With what to accompany the traditional egg flan
The traditional egg custard It can be garnished with whipped cream and served with the caramel left in the mold. It can also be garnished with assorted fruits or enjoyed as is, without frills.
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