Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mom's Favorite Flan

Huge thanks to the lovely Michelle Scott for filling in for me last weekend while I was kicking up my heels at Malice Domestic. Her Peach Galette sounds heavenly and elegant.

As always, Malice was wonderful. It's such fun to get together with old friends and meet new ones. I was absolutely thrilled to meet Elizabeth/Riley face to face! Her photo doesn't do her justice. It was a treat to hang out with delightful Avery all weekend, too! I also had the pleasure of meeting charming Alan Orloff who just guest blogged for us. Some wonderful new mystery series and guest bloggers are in the works, so stayed tuned.

Mother's Day is upon us. How did that happen so fast? If there's one thing my mother likes better than cake, it's flan. In fact, it's her favorite comfort offering to friends and family who are under the weather. I feel like we've had a few flan recipes here, but I can't find any of them. Hope Mom's favorite flan isn't a duplicate of someone else's!

This recipe is really quite simple. I think some people stumble a little bit when it comes to the sugar that makes flan so yummy. Here's the trick -- do not leave the stove. Do not go to the door to accept a package. Do not turn your back to iron a shirt for your son. Do not draw a map to Barnes & Noble for Aunt Irma. I admit that I cracked the eggs while the sugar cooked, but I shook the pot after each egg. It's not hard to melt the sugar -- no stirring needed! -- but it's easy to burn if you don't focus on it. The rest is sooo easy and the results are creamy, sweet, and delicious!


3/4 cup sugar

1 14 ounce can fat free sweetened condensed milk
1 14 ounce can skim milk (use the empty can to measure)
3 eggs
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 325.

2. As close to the stove as possible, place six ramekins in a baking dish (I like the glass casseroles). If you don't have ramekins handy, use oven safe tea cups or even a quiche or pie plate.

3. Melt the sugar over medium heat in a small pot. Do not stir. Shake the pot from time to time, swirling the sugar. It will seem like it's never going to happen, and then, suddenly, you'll see honey colored melted sugar in the bottom. Keep swirling until the sugar is completely melted.

4. Pour the sugar into the ramekins, distributing evenly. If you're using a quiche or pie pan, roll the sugar around a bit to distribute.

5. Place the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor. Mix.

6. Pour over top of the sugar.

7. Use a water kettle to pour water into the baking pan around the ramekins. The water should come about half way up. Slide into oven.

8. Bake 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Refrigerate about two hours or until firm.

9. Use a knife to loosen the sides, turn over a plate, and serve!

I had just a little bit left over, so I poured it into a cup. It didn't fit in my water bath, though, so I just stuck it into the oven. The one without the water bath tastes the same and is equally creamy, but it doesn't cook as evenly and it fell.

Happy Mother's Day!

And now our contest news...

Congratulations to Stacy from Louisville!
You've won Riley's Williams-Sonoma’s Ultimate
Grilling Rub Collection!!!

Here's your chance to enter Julie's May Contest!

Julie’s first book in the Manor of Murder Mystery series, Grace Under Pressure, debuts June 1st! To help launch the book and to celebrate its release, she's running a very special contest: Pre-order Grace Under Pressure any time before May 31, 2010, and you're eligible to win a $25 gift certificate from Mystery Lovers Bookshop! (and if you've already pre-ordered, you just need to let Julie know!) No receipts required. Just email Julie at with the date that you pre-ordered and the name of the bookstore you ordered it from, and your name goes in! (Please put "CONTEST" in the subject header. Thanks!)

Here are a few helpful links to get you started: Mystery Lovers Bookshop (free shipping on book orders over $10!) - The Poisoned Pen - Barnes & Noble -


  1. Oh, I love flan SO much! My mouth is watering just reading the recipe. Maybe I will make a batch this weekend. Thanks!

  2. my wife loves flan... may try this for Mother's day

  3. I loved meeting you last weekend, too, Krista! Malice was a lot of fun...wish it could have stretched out a couple more days!

    Mmm...this flan looks *wonderful*! I can't wait to try this one out. Yum!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. Wendy, I hope you'll give this recipe a try. It's so easy!

    Dave, we may start a new tradition -- flan for Mother's Day!

    Riley, I was just thinking that Malice should go one day longer. There are so many people I would have loved to get to know better. Those few days are so packed that they pass far too fast.

    ~ Krista

  5. Krista, I love your directions - Do not answer the door, don't draw a map... This is exactly the sort of information that makes the difference between a huge success and a mess. Love it! I haven't had flan in a long time. But I don't think I'll leave this recipe around for my family to make tomorrow. It might be just a bit too much for them to handle (shh... don't tell them I said that...)

    Wish I could've been at Malice, but I'm enjoying all the pictures online. I agree with you about making it go one day longer. Next year it's at a new location. Can't wait to experience it.


  6. Krista,

    It was terrific meeting you, too, and fun hanging with a couple of the other Kitcheners. And it was a great conference. I'm not generally a flan-lover, but you're tempting me. Now if only there were a way to get some chocolate into the recipe...

  7. What a beautiful dessert, Krista! I adore flan. And i think I'll make it tomorrow. So with MLK recipes, I now have breakfast and dessert. What shall I cook for dinner? :)

  8. Oh, I love flan. That looks just scrumptious!
    Thanks for posting it!

  9. Welcome back from Malice Domestic, Krista! Wonderful recipe and great photos, too :)


  10. That's beautiful. And you make it sound so easy. :) Might have to try this one.

    Everything on here looks so good. This blog is going to make me gain twenty pounds at least. :)