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Seriously Simple: Cheesecake flan is the best of two worlds

By Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Content Agency on

Flan is a traditional Latin dessert. Unlike its French cousin, crème caramel, flan blends evaporated milk with sweetened condensed milk instead using half and half. This blend creates its velvety texture. And this flan recipe will surprise you with its cream cheese addition. Something about the cream cheese elevates the dessert into a divine cross between flan and cheesecake, which is the best of two worlds.

Ever wonder what these canned milks were made up of? Evaporated milk is reduced milk, so there is less water. Condensed milk is boiled down milk with sugar added. Both of these milks give this flan a distinctively smooth and rich texture.

Some people are afraid of making caramel. If you follow my instructions, you’ll find it couldn’t be easier. Make sure to use a pan with a light-color or metal bottom so you can see the color of the caramel as it cooks. I never use a spoon, but instead swirl the pan continually until the sugar has become a syrup. It’s important to watch carefully as it can go from perfectly golden brown to burnt in a matter of a few seconds. Remember that the caramel continues to cook when you take it off the fire.

Baking the flan requires a few tips

Make this a day ahead so it has time to chill (it will keep in the refrigerator for three days). Slice with a sharp knife and make sure to spoon some caramel sauce over each slice. Sliced peaches or nectarines or any color berries would be a pretty addition.

Cheesecake Flan

 

Serves 8 to 10

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, brought to room temperature; should be soft

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