I’ve been blessed to marry a man who can cook.
After living in Argentina with my Porteño husband for more than a decade, I’ve become spoiled with many an asado for all special events, followed by traditional flan casero, easily one of the most traditional desserts in Argentina.
I’ve been watching him make it for years and finally brought out a notepad to observe, taking down his personal flan casero recipe to share with you.
It’s similar to many an Argentine abuela’s recipe, including the basics: a lot of eggs, a liter of milk, and a decadent, gooey caramel sauce.
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History of Flan in Argentina
While writing out this recipe, I started to think about flan and how it exists everywhere in the Latin world.
What is it that makes Argentine flan so special?
How did it get here?
I assumed Spain was the answer and for a second decided to leave it at that. But, I’m nothing if not thorough and after (admittedly briefly) looking into it, I discovered that Argentine’s flan actually dates all the way back to ancient Rome.
Called “tyropatina,” the recipe was fairly similar to what I’m writing here but it also involved honey (great) and a powdering of black pepper (not great).
Eventually I was right that flan made the final jump to Argentina from Spain as it continued to evolve across countries, cultures, and centuries.
And thank God, Argentina accompanies its flan with dulce de leche and not black pepper.
What is Flan Mixto?
And speaking of dulce de leche, what is Argentine flan mixto?
It’s common in Argentina to serve flan with either a generous dollop of dulce de leche or whipped cream on the side.
Flan Mixto is when you have both, and the combination of DDL and cream is perfectly decadent and decadently perfect.
How to Make Argentina Flan
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)
1. The Caramel
The first step in making the perfect flan is by creating that delicious caramel that pools at the bottom of the dish.
Measure 200 grams of sugar and cook it down over medium heat, stirring constantly as it melts to avoid burning.
You can either make the caramel in a separate sauce pan or directly in the mold. If using a separate pan (which is easiest if using an electric stove), immediately pour the caramel into the mold when done.
If you have a gas stove, you can hold the flan mold with a potholder directly over the flames and melt the sugar down directly in the mold itself (this is what we do).
Once you have the caramel created and in the mold, carefully coat the entire base and sides.
Set aside to cool and thicken.
2. How to Make Flan
Now to make the flan itself.
Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and stir.
Add in remaining 200 grams of sugar and stir constantly. Then slowly add the milk and vanilla, constantly stirring as you go.
Pour egg and milk mixture into the mold over a mesh strainer to filter out any excess air and foam.
Optional: Pause to listen to the satisfying sound of the caramel cracking as the cool mixture comes into contact with it.
3. Bain Marie & In The Oven
Cover with foil and place the mold into a bain marie (another, larger pan filled with water that covers at least half of the flan mold) and put in the preheated oven (175 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit) to cook for one hour.
After one hour, check to see if the flan has set. Depending on your oven it may need a bit of extra time.
4. How to De-Mold Your Flan
After removing it from the oven, allow the flan to rest in the mold for a few hours or overnight before serving.
When ready to serve, take the mold and hold it over the flames of a gas stove at an angle, rotating it slowly every few seconds to melt the caramel.
This will allow you to easily remove your flan from the mold.
If using an electric stove, keep heat low and rest the mold on the stove.
When you feel that the caramel is melted, place a plate on top of the mold and flip it. Carefully lift the mold to reveal your perfectly homemade Argentine flan casero!
IMPORTANT: Make sure to be using a dish with at least a little bit of a lip on the side to hold the melted caramel that will pool at the bottom once you remove it from the mold.
Serve your flan with dulce de leche and whipped cream to convert your flan into traditional Argentine flan mixto.
Flan Casero: Argentine Flan Mixto
This traditional family recipe for Argentine Flan Mixto is easy to make with 4 simple ingredients.
- 400 grams sugar, split
- 10 large eggs (if eggs are on the smaller side, use 12)
- 1 liter of milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)
2. Cook 200 grams of sugar in a warm pan or flan mold over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it melts and turns into a brown caramel sauce. Pour caramel into the flan mold and turn mold to coat entire base and sides. Set aside to cool and thicken.
3. Crack 10 large (or 12 small) eggs into a large mixing bowl, stir.
4. Add in remaining 200 grams of sugar, stir until blended.
5. Slowly add in milk then vanilla extract, stirring constantly as you add.
6. Pour egg/milk mixture into the caramelized mold over a mesh strainer in order to filter out excess foam and air.
7. Cover with foil and place in a larger pan filled with water, water should cover halfway up the flan mold.
8. Place both pans together into the oven for one hour, checking then to see if the flan has set. If not, give it a little more time, checking regularly.
9. Let finished flan rest for 2-3 hours or overnight before de-molding.
10. When ready to remove from the mold, warm pan over low heat to melt caramel and allow it to separate from the mold.
11. Serve with dulce de leche and whipped cream to convert your homemade flan into traditional Argentine flan mixto, and enjoy!
- For the whipped cream, make it yourself by stirring the cream vigorously with a whisk or hand mixer until soft peaks begin to form, it can take up to 7-8 minutes. (Don't use canned whipped cream for this, I beg of you!).
- If using individual flan molds, cook for 20-30 minutes.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 349Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 243mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 0gSugar: 57gProtein: 12g