There are some things that are just delicious or nostalgic or both that I happen to love. Butterscotch Krimpets from Tasty Kake, street pretzels, Rita’s water ice, A-Treat soda, chicken fingers from just about any ballpark. I’m pretty sure if I came across a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie, it wouldn’t last ten seconds.
I also love some amazing shortcut staples: cake mix (I know!), Redi-whip, red Jello (for sick days and strawberry pie) and boxed matza ball soup. I was addicted to instant pudding in college. I love condensed milk. I’m horrible, I know. Judge away. I don’t care.
I don’t have time to feel guilty about my love of condensed milk. Seriously, it’s one of the most amazing canned products of all time. In coffee? Yes. In tres leches cake? Duh.
It’s the dirty secret to my stupid-easy granola bars and what makes this flan so delicious. I could’ve made a classic egg custard flan. But, it’s no fun being good all the time.
Orange Blossom Flan
Inspired by Serious Eats. Makes one 8-inch round flan.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 14 ounces milk at room temperature
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla bean or extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water
- 1 teaspoon of orange zest
1. Preheat oven for 325 degrees. Place a full tea kettle on the stove to boil. Set aside a roasting pan large enough to hold an 8-inch cake pan in the center.
2. Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Boil, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar turns deep amber, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Pour the caramel into the baking pan and swirl to coat to the bottom. Allow it to set, 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Place the sweetened condensed milk, milk, eggs, vanilla, orange zest, orange blossom water and salt in a blender and blend until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. (Alternatively, you may whisk the ingredients together by hand in a large bowl).
5. Pour the flan mixture over the set caramel.
6. Open the oven door and set the roasting pan and flan in the oven. Carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan—water should reach halfway up the sides of the flan pan.
7. Bake until flan is set, but still a bit wobbly, about 1 hour to an hour and 15 minutes.
8. Remove the cake pan from roasting pan and cool on rack, about 15 minutes. Chill completely in refrigerator, 2 to 3 hours. Run a knife along the flan edges and invert onto serving plate. Serve.