Flan without condensed milk or crème caramel, an indulgent flourless dessert that simply melts in your mouth. The perfect dessert for any party, these individual pots of heaven are sheer pleasure.
Crème Brûlée Vs. Crème Caramel
There is some sort of confusion perhaps between the classic crème brûlée and this crème caramel. Although the technique is pretty similar, and the final result no doubt is as delicious, crème caramel or flan is usually baked in a ramekin that has been lined with caramel on the bottom.
Crème brûlée has sugar sprinkled on top, which is then burnt using a cooking blow torch. I think l prefer the crème caramel tough, it looks so pretty when turned upside down, but of course, you can just dig in and eat it straight from the ramekin, without bothering removing it first.
Ingredients needed to make flan
- eggs - at room temperature
- milk - full-fat is best, as it's not as watery
- egg yolk - not a whole egg
- icing sugar
- sugar - I used granulated sugar, but caster is also ok
- cold water
- vanilla extract - or any other extract
Step-by-step photos and instructions
Don't panic thinking it's difficult to make, oh no! Nothing simpler, the basic ingredients are eggs, milk and sugar. You can flavour it with vanilla extract if you wish. To make the custard:
- beat the eggs and egg yolk well until they increase their volume and the colour is pale yellow
- gradually whisk in the warm milk
- add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and mix well to get a smooth mixture
To make the caramel:
- add the water, sugar and vinegar to a pan set over a low heat
NOTE! The vinegar prevents the sugar from crystalizing, the caramel won't taste like vinegar at all. Alternatively you can use lemon juice.
- leave to simmer for 25-30 minutes until the syrup changes the colour to a light brown
NOTE! I don't recommend stirring the caramel, as it could crystalize on the edges of the pan, and ruin the whole caramel. It is better to leave it to cook undisturbed, but do keep an eye on it, as it can burn quickly when it's ready.
How do I know? Well, let's just say I wanted to test what happens if the heat it too high 🙂 It does burn, and badly, with smoke in the whole kitchen and everything. Not nice at all!
- when the caramel is ready, divide it between the 4 quickly, as it hardens, then divide the custard mixture
- arrange the ramekins on a deep baking tray, half fill with water, then bake at 170 degrees Celsius (340 Fahrenheit) for 40 minutes or until firm to touch and settled.
There is no gelatine in this flan, it settles beautifully once it's baked. Always serve the dessert chilled, the taste is tons better, otherwise warm it might taste eggy, plus the caramel won't have time to soften and top the flan nicely.
It is the lovely caramel flavour that together with the vanilla touch make this dessert one of its kind. Such a silky texture, and no flour used at all.
The flan keeps well in the fridge, it actually tastes even better the next day. Serve it as a special dessert for like Valentine's Day menu, and be sure to impressed your loved one.
If you’ve tried my FLAN WITHOUT CONDENSED MILK or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.
Flan without Condensed Milk
- 2 eggs
- 250 ml full-fat milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 40 g icing sugar
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 25 ml cold water
- ½ teaspoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a pan, warm up the milk until it gets to the boiling point, then remove from the heat.
- Beat the eggs and egg yolk until they double their volume and get a pale yellow colour, then add them to the milk, whisking well.
- Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract, and mix again to combine, making sure you have a smooth consistency. Set aside.
- To make the caramel, add the granulated sugar, water and vinegar to a pan set over a low heat.
- Leave to simmer undisturbed for 25-30 minutes until the syrup turns into a light brown colour.
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (340 F).
- Divide the caramel between 4 ramekins, making sure the bottom of the ramekins is well covered with an even layer of caramel.
- Use a ladle to divide the egg mixture between the 4 ramekins too, then arrange them on an ovenproof dish.
- Add hot water to the dish, so that the ramekins are half covered in water.
- Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes until the crème caramel is set and firm to touch.
- Leave to cool down to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours, ideally overnight.
- Run a sharp knife around the edges, place a small plate on top of the ramekin, then flip it over to release the crème caramel. Alternatively, you can serve it straight from the ramekin.Enjoy!
- To see the measurements in cups and ounces, please click on the US CUSTOMARY link.
- The amount of ingredients listed can be adjusted depending on the number of servings you need, just click on the number next to SERVINGS.
Adriana Lopez Martn
You are talking my love language. Flan is a latino classic and we love to serve it in special occassions like Valentine's Day. Loved yoru presentation and the addition of the sugar flowers. Super pretty!
Thank you very much for your comment, l'm delighted that you like it! ?
Flan is such a tasty dessert, and perfect for any special occasion. I love how you have styled it here!
Thank you, Pam!
Julie | Bunsen Burner Bakery
Just beautiful! I will admit that I am not a big fan of flan, but your pictures are so lovely it almost makes me want to grab a spoon!
Tganks, Julie! ?
This is such an elegant looking dish and would be perfect for a special occasion such as Valentines day. Thanks for sharing the great tips on making this.
Glad you like it, Stephanie!
Sarah @ Champagne Tastes
Ooooo I haven't made creme caramel in AGES! This sounds so good! What a perfect date night dessert!
Thank you! I hope my better half will be impressed with it! ?
I want to reach through the screen and grab that flan! I love, love, love flan but I've never made it at home before! I am making this recipe soon because now I've got a huge craving for it! YUM!
Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife
Mmmm flan is so delicious but I haven't made it in so long. I love this no-fail recipe! What a great one for Valentine's Day.
Hanady | Recipe Nomad
This looks delicious and easy to make. My sister in law makes the most lovely creme caramel and I'm always so impressed! Looks like it's time to impress her with this recipe!
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
It has been too long since I have made this type of dessert. Perfect way to end a nice meal. I always love the presentation of these desserts. Love the fact it is easy to make, and tastes like it took hours.
Sara | Modern Little Victories
Your pictures are so beautiful! And can't beat a no fail recipe like that especially for something people might be afraid to make.
I never got the flan texture just right, your recipe is just what i was looking for.
Thank you for your comment, l hope the flan will turn out right now! Let me know how it goes ?
No fail? Flan? That caught my attention. I have tried my hand at flan a few times, but it's never turned out right. Now, I need to give your instructions a try and see if I can finally master it. 🙂
I hope this time it turns out right. Enjoy, it's a lovely dessert!
Amy Katz from Veggies Save The Day
I have to say, this looks much better than other flan recipes I've seen. I'm going to share it with my friend who loves flan.
Thank you, Amy ?
Back in my pre-vagan days my grandmother would always make flan without a recipe. I tried once and it was a hot mess LOL. Definitely could have used a no fail recipe back then ?
Ha, l think grandmothers had their own secret way or ingredients to magically cook and bake amazing stuff.
Tasty! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Chris!
I couldn't take my eyes off your pictures. They look marvelous and the recipe is so easy to make. Bookmarking to try soon.
Thank you, l hope you'll like it ?
Kylee from Kylee Cooks
Oh wow - that looks so perfect! I so want to grab a spoon and reach through the screen for a bite. Or lots of bites... yum!
You know, my mother used to make this, too... and I don't know when I last had it! She just called it custard, but had a whole water bath arrangement for it... and yes, always made the caramel.
Thanks for the memory!
I'm glad l could remind you of old days, these are the best memories!
What a beautiful presentation! I love flan! Such a delicate and delicious dessert. I think I will have to make this for my sweetie on valentines!
These pictures look super good, I especially like the flair the rose on top gives it! Can I ask when you say the ramekins should be half covered in water, what temperature would that be, boiling, lukewarm, etc?
Thank you for your comment! I am glad you like it. The water can be lukewarm. We do that to ensure an even temperature in the oven so that the bottom part does not get burnt or stuck to the ramekin, and the caramel can become like a sauce once the flan is cooked. When checking it from time to time, you can top up with more water if needed. I hope this helps.
Thanks so much, this will definitely help. 🙂
Sounds and looks amazing! I love flan!
Thank you! It's a very delicious dessert, and easy to make.
Why you used vinegar when you prepar the caramel? Thank you
The vinegar (or even lemon juice) is added to avoid the caramel harden too much.
I was wondering what the addition of the 1/2 tsp of vinegar was for? I've never heard of adding vinegar to the sugar/water mixture to make caramel.
The vinegar will intensify the flavour.
May I substitute the whole milk with coconut milk? Unfortunately that is the only type of milk I have access to and I currently don't have possessions of any varieties of cream.
I think it should work, l never tried it though.