Leche flan or crème caramel; a custard dessert with its top layered with soft caramel, is my all-time favorite dessert
Supposedly French in origin, it has spread across Europe and has become known as flan in Spanish-speaking countries. European restaurants love the ease of making it. It can also be prepared in advance, chilled, and served as needed.
Crème caramel is a variant of plain custard (crème) where some caramel syrup is poured into the mold before adding the custard base. After the custard has set, it is turned out, leaving a caramel sauce on top. Like all custards, flan is made with whole eggs, milk or cream, and sugar. The typical flavoring is simply vanilla.
As a kid, whenever my parents took me to fiestas or wedding receptions in which the meals were served buffet-style, almost always, my mother had to ask the host if I could be given a piece of leche flan first; otherwise, I would just as easily spend the entire affair playing with my cousins and not eat. The main dishes held no interest for me, only the desserts; specifically, the flan. Once I had a piece, I would then eat some of the main sumptuous dishes.
In New York City, one of my brothers really excelled in making leche flan. However, whenever I had sudden cravings for it, I’d often stop by Dean & Deluca down in Soho and just get myself some crème burlee. In Metro Manila, many restaurants now offer crème burlee, but leche flan remains my prime choice.
There are those who argue that a halo-halo is not complete without a piece of leche flan.
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