Flan is a creamy custard that is bound by lots of whole eggs and can be silky smooth if baked just right. The trick is to bake it in a water bath until it is just set like jello, then take it out before the proteins in the eggs cook too tight and get rubbery. It is super simple, but takes knowing what to look for.
pinchvanilla saltor 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped + a pinch of salt
To Make the Flan
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Caramelize the sugar, corn syrup and water. Immediately pour into a 6-cup shallow flan mold. I only have a Tarte Tatin Pan, so I used that and it was perfect.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, condensed milk, zest, cinnamon, and vanilla salt until well combined.
Pour over caramel. Set the pan in a roasting pan and fill with HOT water, half way up the flan.
Bake for about 40-50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the flan.
Cool in the water bath, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but can be made 2 days in advance.
Run a paring knife around the edge of the pan, invert onto a serving plate that has a lip to catch the caramel.
The perfect flan is smooth and has no holes or "channels" in it. If you do have them, it is just a matter of being over baked, so next time, take it out slightly sooner. See the video to know just when to take it out.