Aarrgh! I found myself laughing out loud when one of my friends mistook the Leche flan (egg custard) I made the other week as something else. Couldn’t blame her though; I don’t recognize my own work either. I’ve been trying my best to perfect the craft. However, for some reason, I always end up following leche flan recipes that won’t meet expectations of any Filipino eater. Still, I think it’s best to share how I did it even though I failed in my attempt. Just for the fun of it–who knows some people might find this (botched) version to their liking.
I started off first gathering the basic ingredients: one can evaporated milk (380 grams), one can condensed milk (380 grams), eight (8) egg yolks, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. For the simple syrup, I only used 1 cup white sugar and ¾ cup water.
I had plenty of llanera (oval-shaped aluminum molds) at home. Whenever I visit my aunts and grandma in Calatagan, Batangas, they would sometimes give me some pabaon: either dinuguan or leche flan. So I made use of these every time I try to cook this popular all-time favorite Filipino dessert.
I made the syrup first: I boiled the sugar and water in a sauce pan, then poured the syrup into equal parts in at least five molds. I let it cool. Then I proceeded to mix all the rest of the ingredients and poured the mixture into the molds. Following the recipe I “Googled,” I covered each mold with aluminum foil.
Then I put the molds in a baking pan, half filled with hot water and shoved this inside the oven. I’m not even sure of the temperature when I started, but I made sure the oven was preheated.
I think it took at least two hours before “my” leche flan actually became a “leche flan.” I applied the “toothpick” technique in baking to know if it’s already done. I had a hunch I didn’t do it right again because normally a leche flan finishes in a matter of 45 minutes. But as my mom said, as long as it can be eaten then, that “would be okay.” Yeah, right..:-(
But then I got excited when I surveyed my “finished product.” It may be pale (I did not achieve the golden brown effect I wanted) but it STILL tasted leche flan and it was sooo creamy. Had I asked my friends’ opinions first, I would have followed them and cooked the syrup right into the molds on top of a stove, using brown instead of white sugar to achieve that golden brown color.
Oh well, better luck next time… I guess… 🙂