Simply Lebanese

Crème Caramel

Crème Caramel
  • Prep Time
    15 mins
  • Cook Time
    100 mins
  • Serving
    12
Silky and luscious, this crème caramel is a crowd-pleasing dessert, making it perfect for holiday parties!
Crème Caramel

Crème Caramel also known as “Flan,” is a widely popular international dessert. It is a custard made of eggs, whole milk (or cream or condensed milk) and eggs baked in a caramel covered pan. Most often, especially when being served in a restaurant, you will find crème caramel served in individual ramekins for convenience purposes.

Crème Caramel

Since crème caramel does originally come from France, it is no surprise it is quite popular in Lebanon. The French controlled Lebanon for quite a long time so, the language and food influence is still present in the country today.

Growing up, my mom would only make this on special occasions or at dinner parties. It was always a considered special treat, making it perfect for a holiday dessert. The recipe I have come up with after four attempts, feeds a whopping 12 people. I promise you everyone will be so impressed with the velvety, silky texture and sweet flavor of this custard. This is definitely a make-ahead dish, as it needs to cool at room temperature for an hour after baking, and then refrigerated for a minimum of 4 hours but, preferably overnight.

However, do not invert the custard until you are ready to serve it!

What’s in Crème Caramel?

Many recipes use store-bought caramel but, the traditional way to make it is by making your own very simple sugar and water caramel. In a small saucepan, simmer white granulated sugar with a few tablespoons of water. Keep your eyes on the caramel while it is cooking as it can turn from dark golden brown which is the color you want, to dark brown in just 30 seconds! (I have learned this from experience.)

Flan is often made using sweetened condensed milk instead of milk and sugar. I like using milk and sugar as I always have those ingredients on hand. Definitely use whole milk and not a lower fat milk. Because of the low fat content, lower fat milk will take FOREVER to set and just isn’t the same flavor wise and texture wise. You can use half and half instead however.

I put lemon and/or orange zest in the custard as it gives the crème caramel a wonderful pop of citrus. I used a ½ teaspoon of each but, you can you a whole teaspoon of either lemon or orange zest if you prefer. You can also omit this ingredient all together as it only makes a subtle difference in flavor.

STEP 1

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare a water bath by heating up some water until simmering.

STEP 2

In a small saucepan, cook the sugar and water for the caramel over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until dark golden brown.

Do not use anything to mix the sugar, just swirl the saucepan around to mix every few minutes.

Be careful because the caramel will go from dark golden brown to dark burnt brown in less than 30 seconds!

Crème Caramel

STEP 3

Pour the caramel in the Bundt pan as soon as it gets to the perfect color.
Swirl the pan around to get the edges.

STEP 4

In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together for about a minute.

Add the milk* slowly while whisking to full incorporate it.
Add the vanilla paste or extract, and lemon/orange zest. Whisk thoroughly.

STEP 5

Pour the custard mixture into the Bundt pan over the caramel.
Place the Bundt pan in a large baking dish.
Pour the simmering water in the baking dish to create a water bath. You want about 2-3 inches of water.

Crème Caramel

STEP 6

Bake for 60-70 minutes depending on your oven temperature.
Flan should be firm when you jiggle it but, not runny.

STEP 7

Let it cool at room temperature for about an hour.
Once it has cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Crème Caramel

Run the blade of a knife around the Bundt sides and in the middle.
Place a large serving plate over the Bundt pan and invert into the plate. Serve cold.

Crème Caramel

Crème Caramel (Flan)

Silky and luscious, this crème caramel is a crowd-pleasing dessert, making it perfect for holiday parties!
4.43 from 26 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Iman

Ingredients

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 cup White Granulated Sugar
  • 4 cups Whole Milk* Cannot be substituted with lower fat milk.
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Zest Or orange or both
  • 1.5 tsp. Vanilla Extract Or Paste

Caramel

  • .75 cup White Granulated Sugar
  • 3 tb. Water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a water bath by heating up some water until simmering. 
  • In a small saucepan, cook the sugar and water for the caramel over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until dark golden brown. Do not use anything to mix the sugar, just swirl the saucepan around to mix every few minutes. Be careful because the caramel will go from dark golden brown to dark burnt brown in less than 30 seconds!
  • Pour the caramel in the Bundt pan as soon as it gets to the perfect color. Swirl the pan around to get the edges. 
  • In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together for about a minute. Add the milk slowly while whisking to full incorporate it. Add the vanilla paste or extract, and lemon/orange zest. Whisk thoroughly. 
  • Pour the custard mixture into the Bundt pan over the caramel. Place the Bundt pan in a large baking dish. Pour the simmering water in the baking dish to create a water bath. You want about 2-3 inches of water. 
  • Bake for 60-70 minutes depending on your oven temperature. Flan should be firm when you jiggle it but, not runny.
  • Let it cool at room temperature for about an hour. Once it has cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. 
  • Run the blade of a knife around the Bundt sides and in the middle. Place a large serving plate over the Bundt pan and invert into the plate. Serve cold.

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 5.8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.9g | Cholesterol: 104.7mg | Sodium: 75.8mg | Potassium: 35.4mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 0.5mg

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