Cheese Flan (Flan de Queso) | I recently posted a pumpkin flan celebrating fall. This time I thought I would share my favorite flan of all the flans. There is no doubt that if you attend a Puerto Rican party or dinner you will find flan on the table.
We are typically known as a giving and sharing people but, I confess I find it hard to share flan. I’m a bad flan-sharer. But you can’t hold it against me because once you try this flan you too will be a bad flan-sharer.
Initially, you will think to yourself, “Oh, I will make some flan for my family, friends or co-workers.” But when you get your first taste of this flan, you will end up eating the whole thing while hiding in the closet. Trust me, you will turn into a rabid bad flan-sharer, attacking any hand that reaches out to take any of your flan.
Flan De Queso Recipe Ingredients
1 cup sugar
8 oz block of cream cheese
1 14 oz can evaporated milk
1 12 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
There are many different kinds of flan. Cheese, coconut, pumpkin, vanilla, rum, coffee, chocolate–you think of it, it’s probably been done. I gravitate toward cheese, vanilla, or coconut. There are a lot of things that make a flan delicious. The creamy texture, the caramel and for some of us it reminds us of home. Many things can make a flan delicious but, there are just as many things that can make it bad.
Traits of a Bad Cheese Flan:
- Strong eggy flavor (So bad!)
- Cheese flan with a lumpy cheese layer
- Burnt caramel
- Grainy texture or air pockets
- Skin. Skin is bad.
I am going to show you how to avoid making a bad cheese flan and how to make a flan that will make you a bad flan-sharer.
cooking tips for flan de queso
Strong eggy flavor
There is a debate about how many eggs make a good flan. The more eggs the firmer the flan. Egg quantities can range from 4-8 eggs. That is a pretty big spread. Personally, I think any more than 6 and you are begging for a flan with a strong egg flavor. Eggy flans are bad…very bad.
I find that the magic egg number is five. If you see a recipe that calls for more than six eggs in one flan run in the opposite direction.
Grainy texture or air pockets
This can happen from over whisking your batter. Whisking will incorporate air into your batter. I find it is better to use a paddle instead of a whisk. Also, cooking at too high a temperature can cause the custard to curdle and result in graininess. Cook your flan low and slow and DO NOT forget to cook it in a water bath.
When making a cheese flan, you want to make sure all your ingredients are room temperature. This means your eggs and cream cheese, too. If your cream cheese is room temperature and your eggs are cold, your cheese will lump up and make your flan chunky.
Skin isn’t a deal breaker but it’s not great either. Skin happens from overcooking. As soon as you see your flan has set and stopped jiggling, pull it and let it cool.
WATCH YOUR CARAMEL! The moment you walk away from the stove I promise you it will over brown and burn. Also, you may be tempted to turn up the heat and hurry the process. DON’T DO IT! Be patience it will melt and it will be the perfect golden brown.
Over stirring or working sugar while melting will cause it to crystallize. When melting the sugar keep stirring to a minimum. I like to periodically swirl the pot as the sugar melts, working the melted sugar on the outside in and sugar out to the sides. I then keep any whisking to the very end.
Now take the flan that you made for your family, friends or co-workers and hide in a closet. Trust me, this is a dessert that you will not want to share. When you dig into it, it should be smooth, creamy, bubble, lump and skin free. Very close to the texture of a really creamy cheesecake, but it’s better than cheesecake because it’s flan!
Are you in search of even more Puerto Rican flavors? Pork is a large part of Puerto Rican cuisine but, explore more Puerto Rican flavors by visiting my entire collection of Puerto Rican recipes.
more flan recipes:
- chocolate and coffee flancocho
- chai spiced orange flan with cranberry compote
- pumpkin flan (flan de calabaza)
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One More Thing!
The holiday season is officially here! Get my new ebook with a collection of 14 traditional Puerto Rican Christmas recipes to help you get your holiday party season going. I got all the essentials! From pernil to tembleque and the ultimate Christmas drink coquito!
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 9 in round cake pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Have cake pan out and ready. Heat sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Let sugar sit for about 2 minutes until sugar begins to melt. Be sure to keep an eye on the sugar. Once the sugar begins to melt, stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until sugar melts smooth, careful not to over brown the sugar. Immediately pour caramel into round cake pan, evenly coating the bottom of the pan. You will have to move quickly before the caramel sets. Set pan aside until ready to use.
- Add cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of evaporated milk to the bowl of a stand mixer. With a whisk attachment, whisk the cream cheese and milk until smooth.
- Changing to a paddle attachment, beat in eggs one at a time. You want to change to a paddle attachment so not to incorporate air into the batter. Mix in evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Strain flan batter into another bowl to strain out any leftover cheese lumps.
- Pour batter into prepared cake round. Place flan into a large roasting pan in the oven and pour water into the roasting pan outside of the cake pan until the water covers the flan half way. Bake for 1 hour or until set.
- Let flan cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the pan and carefully invert onto a large rimmed platter. Place in refrigerator to cool completely.
- Be sure that all your ingredients are room temperature. If you mix cold eggs in with the cream cheese it will lump.
- Taking the steps to beat the cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of milk and straining the finished custard will ensure a smooth creamy texture.
- Be sure not to use a whisk when adding the eggs. If you do you will end up incorporating air into the custard and that will create air pockets in the cooked flan.
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