Flan (Tortino)

If you live in the United States, the ingredients in this classic flan are probably in your pantry right now.  I must admit, they were not in mine as I avoid anything having to do with a can as much as possible.  Sweetened condensed milk is nothing but milk and sugar that is thickened.   It should be illegal but I must admit, so delicious. I hope you can find it to give it a try.    I think my husband's Flan is a close second.  (We won't tell him).  This version,  I had never tried.  My husband's mother used to shop at Castroni in Rome begging them to carry the product with no such luck.  These days it has magically appeared on the shelf.   I figured it had been tested long before I was born, so why not try.  It just can't be any easier.  I must also admit that I burned the sugar and had to start over.  If this happens to you, don't pour it down the drain, as your pipes will harden and you will be calling the plumber.  I took my burned sugar outside and poured it out in the street.   The look on my neighbors face was priceless.  You see, it happens to everyone, so don't get discouraged by a little mishap in the kitchen. 

One can of Sweetened condensed milk/ 14oz
One can of evaporated milk / 12oz
3 large eggs
one cup of sugar plus 1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
6 ramekins / 6 oz
One baking dish that will fit all 6 ramekins.
About 6 cups of hot water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the sugar and water over low heat.  Be very patient.  This will take a good 10 minutes or so.  When your sugar is melted, golden and clear, carefully pour caramel into the bottom of your ramekins.  Swirl the sugar  around your ramekin.  Carefully set them in your baking dish and set aside.
In a bowl, combine your eggs, Sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract and gently mix by hand until everything is incorporated.  Do not over beat.  Pour gently into your ramekins, about 3/4 full.   Pour your hot water gently into your baking dish until the water is about 1/3 high.  Your ramekins should be surrounded by water.  This will keep your mixture from burning.  Place in your preheated oven for 55- 60  minutes, loosely covered.  Cool completely and set in your refrigerator.  They will need at least 2 hours to cool in your refrigerator before you can serve.
To serve, cut around your flan with a sharp knife.  Set your base of your ramekin in hot water for 10 seconds.  Invert on a plate.  Your flan will come out onto the plate with a little pat.  Pour the remaining sugar (that has been loosened up by the heat of the water), over your Flan and serve.   You can also add fresh fruit across the top for a pretty presentation.

Buon Appetito!


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