This is the Nguyen family flan recipe. My aunt, who is an excellent cook, shared this recipe with me back when I was in high school. I make it every year for Thanksgiving. This is one of my mom’s favorite desserts, and given that she isn’t a big fan of sweets, I always make sure to prepare it for her.
Vietnamese desserts have a strong French influence, dating from the 1800s when the French set up a colony in Vietnam. This is a French flan recipe and it is mighty delicious. People who say they don’t like flan haven’t ever tried this one!
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325°.
For the caramel:
Melt 1 cup of sugar over medium heat until a golden amber color. The sugar will go from golden amber to burnt quickly so make sure to watch the color develop carefully. Coat the bottom of a medium sized baking dish or 8 individual ramekins.
For the custard:
Scald the milk in a medium sized pot and set aside. **Make sure not to let it boil.
As the milk is cooling, gently whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Do not beat the eggs until frothy–simply stir the whisk until the yolks begin to incorporate with the whites. Stir in the rest of the sugar and vanilla. Temper the eggs by adding a small ladle of warm milk. Add the milk one ladle at a time to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
Strain the mixture into another bowl or large measuring cup (I use my gravy separator because the spout makes for easy pouring). Pour the custard mixture in the prepared dish (or ramekins).
Bake the flan in a water bath for 45 minutes or until centers are nearly set. A little bit of jiggle is okay since carryover cooking will firm them up. Allow the flan to cool completely before storing them in the refrigerator. Chill for at least four hours before serving.