Desert Island Puddings #2 : Flan

I have been thinking a lot about what desserts I could ‘cope with’ eating on my island forever… and this second choice, also from my childhood, is certainly one I could eat over and over and not tire of it.
It’s called a Flan, and its origin is not clear, some recipes I found claimed it was a typically from Spain, whilst others claimed it was a Mexican dessert, in any case it’s certainly very popular throughout Latin America, and I read that it might be perhaps because when condensed milk tins started to be imported  they used to have the Flan recipe printed on the label! I think it’s certainly very much like the French dessert:  ‘Creme Caramel’, although I’m not sure if the recipes and cooking methods are alike.
Anyway, here’s the recipe, and I must say, it’s really very simple!
1/2 cup Fairtrade Sugar
1 tin of Evaporated milk (standard UK size 400 g)
1 tin of Condensed milk (standard UK size if 400 g)
3 large free-range eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Orange zest (optional)
1) Heat your oven to 170 C
2) Melt the sugar on a pan to form a caramel
3) Mix the egg, milks, vanilla and zest in a bowl
4) Coat the bottom of you mold or ramekin with the caramel, making sure it covers the entire bottom surface
5) Add the milky mixture
6) Place the ramekins or mold on a ‘Banne Marie’ (that is, swimming in about an inch of boiling water)
7) Cover with foil paper and bake for about an hour. You can test it’s completely cooked by inserting a knife close to the middle, if it comes out clean, you are there.
9) Leave it to cool completely and place in the fridge until you need to serve it, although I recommend taking it out an hour or so before you plan to eat it so the caramel is runny when you carefully turn it out.
9) If you fancy decorating it like I did, just melt a bit more sugar and once you have caramel make whatever design you fancy on top of a non-stick surface. I tried to make mine like the sails of a boat that I will build in my island! (of course you have already guessed by seeing the picture!)
That’s it. One of my all-time classic favorite desserts. Try it out! it’s simple and homey, but can deliver on the wow factor with a bit of imagination!