Reader's Letters: Food

Gisela's Flan

Lorena displays Flan a la Gisela
1) The Flan:

  • 1 medium can of evaporated milk (Carnation, 381 ml/410 grams)
  • 1 small can of La Lechera (Nestle sweetened condensed canned milk)
  • 200 grams (about 1/2 lb) of crumbly cheese, "queso ranchero" or "queso fresco"
  • 4 eggs
  • Place all of the above in the blender, and blend for about 1 minute.
  • 2) The Caramel:

    • 2-3 Tbsp of sugar in a hot frying pan.
  • STIR CONSTANTLY! This will just take a minute or two.
  • When the sugar has melted, pour it into a small baking pan and quickly spread the caramel to cover the bottom of the pan (if it hardens before you can spread it, that's ok too).

    Now pour the flan mixture into the pan.

    Cover with aluminum foil and place this pan in another, larger pan of water.

    4) Place the nesting pans into a cold oven.

    Set your oven to 200-250 degrees Centigrade (just under 400 degrees Fahrenheit). Bake for 1 hour.

    If the flan isn't solid after an hour, turn up the oven temperature and cook till done. It seems to depend on the oven, altitude (we're about 5,000 feet here) and ???.

    Lorena's Note:

    When we stayed in Ken & Barbara's house in San Miguel de Allende, we had the gastronomic pleasure of eating meals prepared by their cook, Gisela. This non-traditional flan was one of our favorites and so easy to prepare. 5-10 minutes and the flan is in the oven.

    I have always been a serious flan fan, but Carl has never liked it. However, even he can't seem to stay away from this flan. The cheese gives it a very different texture. Also, it's not as sweet as traditional flan.

    A friend who made the recipe forgot to cover the flan with aluminum foil and it came out of the oven with a wonderful crusty top.

    I tried using maple syrup instead of melted sugar. When I poured the flan into the pan, the maple syrup was immediately absorbed into the flan. Still tasted great, but the flan stuck to the pan and the maple syrup seemed to crystalize. So, I'm back to a spoonful or two of sugar.

    This flan can (almost) be eaten without guilt. :-)

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