Craving a lusciously smooth and sweet dessert? Look no further than this irresistible Italian Caramel Custard Flan recipe. Baked to perfection, this rich and creamy custard is enveloped in a delectable caramel sauce. Don’t be fooled by its fancy appearance; this dessert is surprisingly easy to make.
Why I’m In Love With This Recipe
The secret to this recipe lies in the steam bath that the eggy custard receives in the oven. The result? A flawlessly silky and smooth egg custard that’s prepared using a round bundt-like pan.
A Slice of Heavenly Delight
Imagine a caramel sauce that resembles a chewy caramel candy but in liquid form, delicately blanketing a creamy custard. With this dessert, each mouthful is like a heavenly treat that you’ll want to savor endlessly.
Simple Ingredients For The Perfect Flan
The beauty of this easy recipe lies in its simplicity. You’ll likely already have the following ingredients on hand:
- Whole milk
- Granulated sugar
- Large eggs
- Vanilla pod
- Lemon peel or zest
For a touch of flavor, my Nonna always added a little lemon peel to the flan. You can either serve it with the lemon peel or discard it before indulging in this divine dessert.
Complement your creme caramel with a dollop of whipped cream or some fresh fruit, or simply relish the way it melts in your mouth. This classic flan recipe is not to be missed.
Tools You’ll Need
To bring this recipe to life, you’ll require the following tools:
- 1 round bundt pan (alternatively, you can utilize about 8 (6 oz) individual ramekins) as the mold.
- 1 roasting pan or oven-safe baking dish, deep enough to accommodate the baking pan or ramekins with ample room for 2 inches of water at the bottom. This is essential for the water bath, known as ‘bagna Maria’ in Italian or ‘bain Marie’ in French.
- A sieve or strainer to strain the hot milk.
Silky Smooth Caramel Custard Flan Recipe (Italian)
Prepare to be enchanted by this Italian upside-down flan dessert that boasts a luscious caramel topping. Its texture is velvety smooth, and the taste is truly sensational. Reminiscent of Italian panna cotta, this crème caramel is made without the use of gelatin or starches. Instead, the eggs act as the thickening agent, resulting in a perfectly smooth and velvety finish. The trick to achieve this superb texture lies in the gentle cooking process and the water bath.
Serve this silky, elegant custard as a show-stopping dessert or as a delightful snack to satisfy your sweet cravings. Plus, it’s a fantastic make-ahead recipe that can be stored in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
How to Flip Caramel Custard Flan (Video)
One of the most nerve-wracking moments when making flan is when it’s time to flip it onto a serving plate. I always hold my breath, hoping it will come out flawlessly in one beautiful piece. To put your mind at ease, here’s a video tutorial to guide you through the process. Best of luck!
Understanding the Distinctions
Let’s clarify the differences between creme caramel, flan, and creme brûlée. While these desserts share similar ingredients, they each possess their own unique presentation and taste. Creme caramel is creamy, with a caramel sauce that permeates every layer, while creme brûlée is known for its caramelized sugar crust that cracks with each spoonful, revealing a creamy interior. Despite their similarities, the caramel-infused taste and consistency of creme caramel set it apart. It’s worth noting that creme caramel and flan are French names, but flan has different interpretations across various regions. Some flan recipes call for egg yolks only, whereas this recipe utilizes the whole egg. In Spanish-speaking countries, like Latin America, and often in the United States, crème caramel is referred to as flan or “Leche flan,” meaning milk flan. In Italy, we use both terms interchangeably, so take your pick!
The Story Behind Creme Caramel Flan
Allow me to share a heartwarming memory from my childhood. I can vividly recall my Nonna Laura preparing this recipe in our beach house in Sardegna, using the very same metal mold that my mamma now keeps in her kitchen. The way she would say “creme caramel” and “flan” was like a sweet melody that left me eagerly awaiting the first bite. She always added a hint of lemon zest to infuse the dessert with a subtle and distinctive flavor that sets it apart from the rest. Whenever my Nonna visited us in the United States, she would make this dessert since it’s also one of my mother’s favorites. Nowadays, my mamma often makes it when she longs for a taste of home. During my pregnancy and breastfeeding journey, she frequently brought me creme caramel flan, knowing it would provide me with a substantial protein boost while satisfying my sweet tooth. Some recipes hold a special place in our hearts, reminding us of our loved ones, and this is undoubtedly one of those recipes for me.
Top Tips for Perfectly Creamy Custard
To achieve the smooth and creamy texture that characterizes creme caramel flan, keep the following tips in mind:
- Begin with warm milk (don’t skip this step!).
- Allow the eggs to reach room temperature.
- Gradually incorporate the warm milk into the egg mixture, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
- For an even smoother custard, strain the final mixture using a sieve or strainer to eliminate any lumps.
- Bake at a gentle heat using the water bath method to ensure a flawless and evenly cooked dessert.
- Follow these tips for a delightful custard dessert that’s sure to impress.
More Desserts for Your Enjoyment
If your sweet tooth craves more delectable treats, consider trying out these recipes:
- Italian Pear Cake
- Lemon Yogurt Loaf (blueberries optional)
- French Apple Tart
- Italian Olive Oil, Orange, and Honey Cake
- Panna Cotta
Don’t forget to leave a ⭐️star rating on the recipe card and share your feedback in the comments section once you’ve prepared this delectable dessert. I love connecting with you through my recipes.
Would you like to share your Italian recipe creations with me? Tag me on Instagram @cucinabyelena, and I’ll be thrilled to see your culinary masterpieces. For more inspiration, follow me on Pinterest.
Creme Caramel Custard Flan Recipe (Italian) is the perfect dessert to treat your family to. Add this beloved Italian recipe to your favorites list and create unforgettable moments together.