Amazing Creme Caramel

Try our version of flan, a Latin dessert. Citrus peel and cinnamon are steeped with the milk to add a unique flavor.

Amazing Crème Caramel
Photo: Robert Jacobs
Chill Time:
2 hrs
Bake Time:
35 mins


  • cup sugar

  • 2 medium oranges, lemons, or limes

  • 3 cup half-and-half or light cream

  • 2 3 inch cinnamon sticks, broken up

  • 3 eggs

  • 3 egg yolks

  • cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

  • Raspberry Sauce or Hot Chocolate Sauce (see recipes below)

  • Fresh raspberries (optional)

  • Fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Raspberry Sauce

  • 3 cup fresh red raspberries or one 12-ounce package frozen and thawed red raspberries or 3 cups fresh strawberries or 12 ounces frozen and thawed unsweetened strawberries

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Hot Chocolate Sauce

  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate pieces

  • ¼ cup butter

  • cup sugar

  • 1 5 ounce can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)


To caramelize the sugar:

  1. In a heavy medium skillet, cook the 1/3 cup sugar over medium-high heat until the sugar begins to melt, shaking skillet occasionally. Dont stir. Once the sugar starts to melt, reduce heat to low and cook about 5 minutes more or until all of the sugar melts and is golden brown, stirring as needed with a wooden spoon.

  2. Remove skillet from heat and immediately divide the caramelized sugar among six 6-ounce custard cups, or pour caramelized sugar into a 9-inch flan pan or a 9x1-1/2-inch round baking pan. Working quickly, rotate cups or pan so sugar coats the bottom as evenly as possible. Cool the caramelized sugar.

For custard:

  1. Remove the peel from the oranges, lemons, or limes with a vegetable peeler. In a medium saucepan, heat the half-and-half, citrus peel, and cinnamon sticks over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until tiny bubbles just form around the edge.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and yolks in a medium bowl until mixed. Gradually whisk in the 2/3 cup sugar and set aside.

  3. Strain the half-and-half mixture; discard the citrus strips and cinnamon pieces. Slowly stir the hot half-and-half into the egg mixture. Stir in the vanilla. Place the prepared custard cups or the flan pan in a shallow roasting pan on an oven rack. Pour egg mixture into the custard cups or pan. Pour hot tap water into the roasting pan around the cups or pan to a depth of about 1/2 inch.

  4. Bake dessert in a 325 degree F oven about 35 minutes for custard cups (45 minutes for flan pan) or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 1 hour. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.

  5. To serve, unmold the flan by loosening the edges with a knife. Slip the end of knife down the sides of cup or pan to let in air. Carefully invert a dessert plate over a custard cup (or serving platter over pan); turn dishes over together to release custard. Spoon any of the caramelized sugar that remains in cup or pan on top. Serve with Raspberry Sauce or Hot Chocolate Sauce. If you like, garnish with fresh raspberries and mint sprigs. Makes 6 servings.

Raspberry Sauce

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine red raspberries or frozen and thawed red raspberries or strawberries or frozen and thawed unsweetened strawberries, and sugar. Cover and process or blend until mixture is smooth. Strain sauce and discard seeds. Cover and chill until serving time or up to 5 days. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

Hot Chocolate Sauce

  1. In a heavy small saucepan, melt semisweet chocolate pieces, and butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar; gradually stir in evaporated milk. Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently on low 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat. Cool slightly. Makes bout 1-1/2 cups.

Test Kitchen Tip:

To make chocolate sauce ahead, prepare sauce. Cover; chill up to 5 days. Reheat slowly in a heavy saucepan, or transfer to a microwave-safe bowl; cook on 100 percent power (high) 30 to 60 seconds; stir.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

350 Calories
19g Fat
37g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 350
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 24%
Cholesterol 257mg 86%
Sodium 84mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Protein 8g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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