leche flans & my dad as the cook

i am sure most of us grew up eating leche flan. my dad used to make up to 6 to 10 oval pans, when i was little. i shake the milk cans and grate the lime zest and just mix everything with the egg yolks, (my dad separates the egg yolks from the egg whites)

every christmas season we do this. well except for now, things have changed, but my dad still loves to cook. nowadays he just grill or make the nicest fresh juices, etc.
my dad also makes the best bbq sauce, sushi and other japanese rolls. he still makes very good breakfast and fried rice. but since he is getting tired, getting old each day, he sometimes doesn't have time to do these things anymore. that is why i do these things now for them. they expect me to cook everytime we have a get together at tagaytay especially if they got visitors.

i think creme brulee and leche flan are somewhat similar. creme brulee is French word for "burnt cream", it is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel, created by burning sugar
with a blowtorch. It is usually served cold in individual ramekins.
its similar because its both custard. difference is creme brulee has a layer of hard caramel top, and leche flan doesn't have that hard layer, our leche flan has the brown soft layer on top because of the brown sugar syrup put in the bottom of the oval pan and then cooled, and then put the custard, covered with foil and then cooked in a rice cooker with water. that is how we do it in the olden days. we didn't have an oven working before. majority of filipinos are stove top cookers. :)
leche flan or creme caramel as they also call it (because of this "culinary fever" as i heard on the tv when a chef was being interviewed HAHA!)

anyways here is the recipe of creme brulee

2 large lemons
3 cups heavy cream
About 10 tablespoons light brown sugar or turbinado sugar (its similar to brown sugar but its pale and are large crystals)
6 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

special equipment: 8 (4-oz) flameproof ramekins; a small blowtorch

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325F.

Finely grate 2 tablespoons zest from lemons into cream in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in 7 tablespoons turbinado sugar and a pinch of salt. Heat mixture over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until almost boiling, then remove from heat.

Lightly beat yolks in a bowl, then gradually whisk in hot cream. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a quart-size glass measure and stir in vanilla and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Divide among ramekins.

Arrange ramekins in a roasting pan and bake in a water bath until custards are just set around edge but centers wobble when pan is gently shaken, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool custards in water bath 20 minutes, then remove from pan and chill, uncovered, at least 4 hours. (Custards will set completely as they chill.) Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar evenly over each custard, then move blowtorch flame evenly back and forth close to sugar until sugar is caramelized. Let stand until caramel is hardened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Custards can be chilled, covered with a sheet of plastic wrap after 4 hours, up to 2 days. Very gently blot with paper towels before sprinkling with sugar and caramelizing.



Anonymous said...

Robert-Gilles from Shizuoka, Japan!
Thank you for accepting my request for friendship at Foodbuzz!
"Leche Flan"?
Interestig as "leche" is Italian for milk and "flan" is French for "pudding".
In your father's case, we would call creme brulee back home (in France, not Japan!).
The possibilities are endless.
TRy introducing orange or lemons peels (chopped very finely) and liqueur!
Great blog!

evil and demented little cooker girl said...

hi robert! thank you too!
:) yes filipinos are known to eat leche flan during the xmas season. that is the term we use here. but when i first ate creme brulee, i said its a classy leche flan since i first ate creme brulee in a hotel when i was a kid :) heehee

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Those flans look really really good!! Must try to make them one day...

Happy Halloween, Margot

evil and demented little cooker girl said...

happy halloween margot!
:) thank you

those are creme brulee photos
i never had photos of my dad's leche flans

Lalaine said...

I have all the ingredients to make this...except the blowtorch! Any ideas?

evil and demented little cooker girl said...

try to put it in top most part of your oven, just like gratinating.
take it out once the sugar is already bubbly and melting and browning
:) hope this helps lalaine

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