Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I thought it would be nice to bake a couple of desserts that remind me of my mom. As you might know, I’m from Lima-Peru and I moved to California because of my husband. All my family is in Peru, so I miss my parents so much. They don’t travel to visit me anymore because of their health conditions, but I try to visit them twice a year.
My mother’s name is Ana and she is 71 years old. She has always been a wonderful person, very caring and loving. She used to bake a lot (maybe I got the baking skill from her). I remember that every time we celebrated birthdays, Christmas, special dinners, etc. she always cooked and made dessert, everything from scratch, paying attention to every little detail. One of the desserts she used to make a lot was Crema Volteada (Upside-Down Cream = Peruvian version of Flan), everyone who tried it, loved it!
My mom now suffers from an early stage of Alzheimer’s, a terrible disease that there is no cure for. She was diagnosed 3 years ago and it really was super hard on me. I call her everyday and we see each other on camera ( My husband is always finding good and easy devices for video calls and right now we’re using Amazon Show, works great). With her early diagnosis she has been treated with medicine that makes the disease to not progress fast, I’m happy to say that it hasn’t got awfully bad yet. She knows who I am but she can forget what she had for lunch, but that’s ok, we all make mistakes, right? I try to entertain her every day when I call, I love our conversations. I told her I baked this Peruvian flan and she got all excited about it, she was giving me some tips too and those things make me soo happy!
Here is a picture of her with some orange muffins she made right before she was diagnosed. She doesn’t bake anymore but I’ll keep her legacy.
Hope so you like my little story. Let’s start with the recipe!
Yield one 8 or 9 inch round pan or you can use a loaf pan too. I have used both and I prefer to use the loaf pan because it’s easier to cut and serve.
Video of this recipe is on my Instagram @Pastry_Tales
For the Caramel
1 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup cold water
For the Flan
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
5 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the caramel
1.- In a saucepan mix water and sugar over low heat. When the sugar is all dissolved (no sugar granules left) , turn up the heat to medium-high and let the mix of sugar/water turn into the caramel, this will take about 15-20 minutes, do not mix , just keep an eye that it doesn’t burn because it will taste bitter.
2.- After a couple of minutes it will start to boil, bubbling a lot, please do not touch or stir. Just let cook and you will see that little by little the color of the mixture will start to change, to a light caramel color and then to a medium dark caramel color. Turn off the heat. Protect your hands with an oven mitt or a kitchen towel and pour into a ( 8 inch) baking pan or loaf pan, covering all the inner surface with the caramel. Be very careful with your fingers, and don’t even dream of tasting it with your tongue. Hot caramel is dangerous. Let it cool, it will get hard.
For the custard/filling
1.- Preheat the oven at 350° F.
2.- In a blender, mix eggs, milks and vanilla extract. After is all mixed, use a sieve to catch any egg part that did not get mixed and then pour into the baking pan.
3.- Place the baking pan inside a larger pan with about 2 fingers high of hot boiling water.
4.- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes aprox. Let it cool completely. After 45 minutes of baking , check if the top part is too dark. If it’s dark, cover it with foil but be sure it doesn’t touch the flan.
Tip: You know it’s ready when it looks like a gelatin and when you move it softly there are not liquid parts. Don’t overbake it or you’ll loose the creamy texture. Also, always keep hot water in the bigger pan, if the water evaporates, add more.
5.- Let it cool completely and then place it in the fridge overnight.
6.- Next morning, run a knife around the border and turn the flan over a bigger plate. If that doesn’t help, place the pan over some hot boiling water for a couple of minutes, then try to turn the flan over again. Have patience, sometimes, it takes a little bit of time. Using a spoon, scoop all the caramel left in the bottom of the pan and pour it on the top of your flan.
7.- Keep refrigerated.
Enjoy!!! Happy Mother’s Day!
Here are a couple of pictures when I made this flan in a round pan: