Flan de Queso (Cheese Flan):
1 14-oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 12-oz can of evaporated milk
1 8-oz cream cheese bar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
A dash of Cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tbsp water
(All directions follow at the end)
Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan):
To make Coconut Flan: Use same above list of ingredients, except for the cream cheese. Instead, add about ½ (half) of 17-oz can of shredded coconut- in heavy syrup- .Use a spoon to add the coconut into the mixture in order to avoid pouring too much of the liquid. Follow same cooking directions as follows below.
Flan de Caramelo (Caramel Flan):
To make Caramel Flan: Use same above list of ingredients, except for the cream cheese, and add 7 eggs instead of 6. Follow same directions as follows below.
Flan de Guayaba y Queso (Guava-Cheese Flan):
To make Guava-Cheese Flan: Use same above list of ingredients except for the following: Only ½ package or 4-oz of cream cheese (softened), and add ½ cup of guava paste (softened). Follow same directions as follows below.
Directions: (This is for Oven baking; other variation such as using a pressure cooker instead, follows at the end)
First, prepare the caramel: In a sauce pan, and over medium heat, add 1 cup of sugar and sprinkle with about 1 to 2 tbsps of water; mix well just to have the sugar lightly moistened. Melt the sugar in the pan, stirring occasionally to avoid lumps or burning. Once the sugar is completely dissolved (caramelized), and it has a golden brown color (not too dark), remove from heat and immediately, pour caramel into a baking dish and tilt around to cover all sides and have the caramel spread evenly around the bottom and sides of the dish. Set aside and let it harden (for about 10 minutes).
Next: In the meantime, preheat the oven at 350 degrees F. In a big bowl, and using a spatula, place the cream cheese (cream cheese can be placed in a microwave oven for a few seconds to soften) and mix with the eggs. Add the evaporated milk, and whisk, add the condensed milk and whisk. Add vanilla, cinnamon and salt and mix thoroughly using a whisk.
Pour the flan mixture into the baking dish where you poured the caramel. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Put that baking dish into a water bath the following way: The baking dish should be placed into a roasting pan, and you will fill the bottom of the roasting pan with boiling water to reach about ½ way the size of the baking dish. Then, place that roasting pan into the oven rag. (ensure that the rag is in the center part of the oven). Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 50 mins. to 1 hour.
After 50 mins to an hour, insert a toothpick into the middle of the flan to see if it comes out clean. Once the flan is done, let it cool at room temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes and turn upside down into a serving dish. Cover the serving dish with aluminum foil, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving (preferably overnight).
Variations when cooking: Using a Pressure Cooker on the stove: (For this variation, please, don’t leave it unattended). If you don’t have or don’t want to use an oven, you can use a pressure cooker to make the flan.
You will need the following utensils:
1 Flanera pan (size 1.5 Qt). You can buy a flanera at a Latin grocery store or online (it has a lid and 3 special closures to ensure the flanera pan closes well and tight and no liquid is spilled during pressure cooking).
1 Pressure Cooker (size: 4 to 6 Qt).
Make the caramel in the same flanera, where the flan is going to be cooked. Follow same directions for caramel as described above. Once the caramel is done, tilt around the sides of the flanera to cover the bottom and all sides well, as on the picture below. (Let the caramel set for about 10 minutes before adding the flan mixture).
Add the flan mixture (you can choose to make one of the flavors described above) into the flanera and close it tightly.
Place flanera inside the pressure cooker and fill the pressure cooker with tap running water to reach about ½ way of the size of the flanera pan. Close pressure cooker and, before placing it on the stove, make sure the stove is already heated on high.
Place the pressure cooker on the stove and when the top valve (or pressure control) begins to rock, reduce heat to medium until it acquires a steady, soft pace. If pressure control starts moving too rapidly a few minutes later, reduce heat again, slowly, until it reaches a steady, soft pace again. You might need to reduce heat a couple of times, so don’t leave the pressure cooker unattended. (If your pressure cooker doesn’t have a moving pressure control, follow manufacturer’s instruction, reduce temperature to medium once you see the first vapors coming out, and set the timer the same as below).
From the moment in which the pressure control starts to move, set timer for about 40-45 minutes, after which, you should remove pressure cooker from heat (If you notice that after 30 or 35 minutes, the pressure control stops moving by itself, and no more vapor comes out, remove pressure cooker from heat. It means there’s no more liquid inside the cooker. Turn off the stove and remove from heat).
Wait until all vapor has come out of the cooker and all pressure is released. Do not rush or force the vapor out the cooker by any means, since this can cause some of the content from inside the flanera to come out. Then, open lid, wait a few minutes until it is cool enough to handle, and carefully remove the flanera from the cooker. Let it cool at room temperature (about 10-15 minutes), and open up the flanera.
Using a knife, carefully scrape around the edge to ensure the flan is well separated from the sides of the pan.
Flip it over into a serving dish. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for about 2+ hours (preferably overnight), before serving.