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For the custard:

1 litre full fat milk

6 free-range eggs

6 tablespoons caster sugar

2 tablespoons desiccated coconut, optional

1 lemon, zest in strips

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

For the caramel:

6 tablespoons caster sugar

To make this recipe properly you will need a 'Flanera.' The lid of the 'Flanera' allows the custard to steam which gives a lovely, soft result. The shape is characteristic of Flans all over the world's Spanish speaking countries. In this recipe Maria has added coconut which brings a nice twist to this classic dish.

Serves 6

Put the milk in a saucepan and add the cinnamon stick and lemon zest. Bring up to the boil and then turn the heat down very low and let the milk cook slowly for about 2 hours, until it has reduced by at least a quarter. Cover and set aside to cool. When you are ready to cook the flan, preheat the oven to 160°C/150°C fan. (or the baking oven of an AGA).

First, make the caramel. Put 4 tablespoons of caster sugar in the bottom of the 'Flanera.' Heat slowly over a gentle heat, stirring from time to time swirling time to stop the sugar from catching. Once a lovely caramel colour is achieved remove from the heat and plunge the base of the pan into a bowl of cold water to stop the caramel from cooking further. Dry the bottom of the pan and set aside while you make the custard. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together then add the cooled, infused milk bit by bit, whisking continuously by hand. Do not use an electric whisk as the mixture will be become too frothy and foamy. You are looking to add 1 ladleful of milk per egg (so for this recipe, 6 ladlefuls of the reduced milk).

Stir through the coconut, if using, and transfer the mixture to the 'Flanera'. Place the 'Flanera' in a deep roasting pan. Place the lid on the 'Flanera'. Fill the roasting dish with hot or boiling water to create a ‘bain marie’ and place into the preheated oven. Cook for 40 minutes with the lid on and then remove the lid for the second part of the cooking, giving it another 30 – 40 minutes. You will know that the flan is done when a knife is inserted and comes out clean.

Allow the flan to cool at room temperature and then place in the refrigerator to chill. The flan needs to be very cold in order to unmould it safely from the 'Flanera'. When ready to serve, run a knife around the perimeter of the flan to release it from the sides. Heat the bottom of the ‘Flanera’ to melt the caramel over the hob or with a blowtorch. Flip onto a plate and serve!


If you like this recipe, you may also like Cherry Frangipane Flan

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