Margarita's International Recipes



Flan, a type of caramel custard, is an extremely common dessert throughout Spain and Latin America. In Andalusía, flans and other types of sweets were made by nuns, the sale of such sweets often constituted the main income of convents and monasteries.

Flan has always been one of my favorite deserts. My mother would make her "flan de dulce de leche" in large funnel-cake molds and we would eat it in slices. It was godly. Eventually we learned about the dangers of cholesterol and egg yolks, and flan became the stuff of memories. In the US, I have had it from time to time in restaurants, though none of the flans I've been served even approached the lusciousness of my mother's version.

This one didn't either. It was good, people complimented me on it and they ate it all, but it wasn't delicious. I liked the subtle cinnamon flavor, but would have preferred a deeper caramel taste. On the plus side, it's certainly much better than the firnee, a custard I served for my Afghani dinner, and it uses fewer egg yolks than other flan recipes.



  • 1 tsp. Cornstarch
  • 2 1/4 cups of whole milk
  • 2 strips of lemon zest
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 yolks
  • 2 eggs

  • 1 roasting pan or other deep oven-ready pan
  • 6 flan or custard molds


    Mix the cornstarch with a little bit of milk and stir into a smooth paste.

    Put the rest of the milk in a small saucepan, add lemon zest and cinnamon sticks. Simmer on very low heat for about 30 minutes (to infuse the milk with the lemon and cinnamon flavor). Remove lemon and cinnamon sticks and discard.

    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

    Make the caramel, by putting ½ cup of sugar and 2 tbsp. of water in a small sauce pan and melting over low heat. Bring to a boil and boil until it turns a dark caramel color. Remove and pour it on the 6 flan molds.

    In a bowl, combine yolks, eggs and remaining sugar. Add cornstarch mixture. Add hot milk, stiring al the time. Pour into flan molds.

    Place flan molds in roasting pan. Pour very hot or boiling water around the molds. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes. Cool. Run a knife round the inside of each mold and reverse each mold into a desert plate. Serve.

    Adapted from A Flavor of Andalusia

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