I love flan. It's true.
In college my roommates would open the fridge to find that almost every single mug we owned was half full of this delightful custard. The best part was...they didn't really care for it, so it was all mine!
I could go days just eating this stuff. In fact, I made it yesterday and it's been featured as the main part of my every meal since. Healthy? No. Delicious? Absolutely.
I used "The Perfect Flan" recipe on Epicurious from Bon Appetit.
I don't think I'd call it the perfect flan; I've had better. It was very good though.
1 3/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup whole milk (I substituted evaporated milk, following the advice of some of the commenters.)
pinch of salt
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (whoops. I just realized I used a whole one. It obviously didn't hurt it though.)
1/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
7 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Assemble 6 or 7 ramekins or custard cups. Combine cream, milk and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Set aside to steep for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the cup of sugar with 1/3 water in another medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, then cook over high heat without stirring (you can swirl it if you want to though) until the caramel is deep amber (I would remove it before it gets to this point because it will continue to darken a bit once off the heat.)
Working quickly, divide the caramel among the ramekins, tilting them to coat the sides. Careful, it's reeeaaallly hot. Set the ramekins into a 13x9 in baking pan.
Whisk the eggs, yolks and remaining sugar until just blended. Gradually whisk in cream mixture, trying to create as little foam as possible. Pour this mixture through a fine sieve into the prepared ramekins. Pour enough hot water into the baking pan that it comes half way up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake until loosely set, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, preferably over night.
To serve, run a knife around the edges of the flan and shake out onto a plate, letting the caramel run down over the flan.
I guess the hardest part about making flan is the caramel. It's not really hard though, just finicky. And flan without the caramel is just not worth the calories.