Satisfy your sweet tooth with this single-serve leche flan recipe, inspired by the classic Filipino treat. It's easy to make this luscious dessert at home in a size that won't cause you to over-indulge.
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This creamy crème caramel custard is a popular Filipino dessert served during fiesta celebrations. Flan has a rich flavor and velvety texture just like my chocolate crème brûlée recipe.
Reasons to Love
- Easy and convenient. Making a single-serve leche flan in a ramekin using an air fryer or toaster oven is incredibly easy and convenient. With just a few simple steps, you can have a delicious dessert ready in no time.
- Perfect portion size. You don't have to worry about cutting slices or measuring out servings. This recipe makes just the right amount of creamy, caramel goodness for you to enjoy without any waste.
- Quick cooking time. The mini size of this creme caramel dessert also means it cooks much faster than a traditional full-size one. You can bake this treat much faster than the standard size.
You will need a few key ingredients to make a delicious Filipino leche flan. These include eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and sugar.
Eggs give the dessert its creamy texture, while the combination of condensed milk and evaporated milk adds sweetness and richness. Sugar is used to make the caramel sugar sauce that coats the custard.
Here's what you'll need to make the recipe:
- egg yolks
- evaporated milk
- sweetened condensed milk
- key lime juice
- vanilla extract
- light brown sugar
Scroll down to the recipe card for quantities used.
Preheat your toaster oven or air fryer on "bake" setting to 350°F (175°C). You can also use a regular oven to make leche flan if that's all you have.
Heat light brown sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and swirl the pan occasionally. Once the sugar has caramelized and reached your desired color, immediately turn off heat.
Pour caramelized sugar into a ramekin or small oval baking pan. Allow to cool and set.
In a bowl, break egg yolks and stir in one direction using a spatula.
Gradually add condensed milk, evaporated milk, key lime juice, and vanilla. Continue stirring in one direction until all the ingredients are well-blended. Do not over stir.
Place a fine mesh strainer over a glass measuring cup and pour the egg mixture.
Pour egg mixture over the prepared ramekin baking dish. Place a pan on the oven tray. Gently transfer ramekin in the pan. Carefully pour hot water into the pan (bain marie, also known as water bath), not the ramekin. Cover with foil.
Slowly insert the tray into the middle of the oven. Bake for 35 minutes or until the middle part comes out clean when a toothpick or knife is inserted. Allow the custard and ramekin to completely cool before you invert in on to a plate. Refrigerate to chill.
Hint: When melting sugar to create the caramel layer, use low to medium heat. Avoid stirring the sugar too frequently; instead, let it melt and caramelize gradually. Stir only as needed to distribute heat evenly and prevent burning. Watch the color carefully, aiming for a rich molasses brown without letting it become too dark or bitter.
You can make a creamy leche flan in various flavors and shapes. Here are some simple variations of the recipe:
- Ube - add ube extract or powder for the unique flavor and color of Filipino purple yam.
- Pandan - blend pandan extract or juice into the custard mixture before baking, giving your flan a subtle green hue and a refreshing twist.
- Coffee - add instant coffee granules or brewed coffee to your egg yolk mixture for some java infusion.
- Chocolate - incorporate cocoa powder or melted chocolate into your egg yolk mixture.
- Cheese - adding your favorite grated cheese to the custard mixture.
- Shape - Use a Llanera pan instead of a standard round ramekin to get the traditional oblong shape you typically see in the Philippines.
Want another delicious Filipino treat? Check out my banana turon lumpia recipe made in an air fryer.
Top tip: Before pouring the egg mixture into the mold, it's important to strain it. This helps remove any lumps or air bubbles that may have formed while mixing the ingredients. Simply pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve into the mold. This step ensures that your leche flan will have a silky-smooth consistency.
- Tap gently on the ramekin to eliminate any remaining air bubbles in the custard mixture.
- Do not omit the water bath, also known as a bain-marie. It helps ensure an even cooking process and reduces the chance of cracking.
Once the leche flan has been cooked and cooled, it can be carefully removed from the flan mold by inverting onto a plate for presentation. The smooth and creamy texture of the custard makes it an attractive dessert to serve to guests or enjoy on special occasions. It goes well with a hot beverage like espresso or matcha tea.
When serving this Filipino dessert, you can garnish it with fresh fruits like sliced strawberries or mangoes for added color and flavor. Some people also like to drizzle caramel sauce over the top of their leche flan before serving for an extra touch of sweetness.
Leftover flan can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. It is important to keep it covered to prevent any odors from seeping into the delicate custard. When storing leche flan, it is best to place it in a single layer to maintain its shape and prevent any damage.
Consuming leche flan within a few days is recommended for optimal taste and texture. Over time, the creme caramel may become less creamy and develop a slightly grainy texture. To ensure you enjoy the best flavor, it's best not to keep leftover leche flan for too long.
To achieve a smooth consistency, make sure to strain the mixture before pouring it into the mold. This will remove any lumps or air bubbles that may affect the texture.
The oven cooks the flan with direct dry heat, while a steamer uses gentler and more uniform heat. Baking results in a creamier texture with a smooth and dense consistency. When steamed, the custard tends to be lighter and softer in texture with a delicate and airy consistency.
Looking for more single-serving dessert recipes? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Red velvet mug cake is a classic treat that you can make quickly.
- Souffle cheesecake has a much lighter texture than a traditional recipe.
- Mug carrot cake is the perfect size for one person.
- Single-serve apple pie is so delicious warm from the oven.
- Cookie dough for one whips up in just a few minutes.
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup evaporated milk
- 3 tablespoons condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon key lime juice Dayap
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water
- hot water for water bath
- Pre-heat your toaster oven or air fryer on "bake" setting to 350°F (175°C)
- In a small pan, heat light brown sugar and water. Bring to a gentle simmer and swirl the pan occasionally. Once the sugar has caramelized and reached your desired color, immediately turn off heat.
- Pour caramel into ramekin. Allow to cool and set.
- In a bowl, break egg yolks and stir in one direction using a spatula.
- Gradually add condensed milk, evaporated milk, key lime juice, and vanilla. Continue stirring in one direction until all the ingredients are well-blended. Do not over stir.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a glass measuring cup and pour the egg mixture.
- Pour egg mixture over the prepared ramekin.
- Place a pan on the oven tray. Gently transfer ramekin in the pan. Carefully pour hot water into the pan (bain marie, also known as water bath), not the ramekin. Cover with foil.
- Slowly insert the tray into the middle of the oven.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until the middle part comes out clean when a toothpick or knife is inserted.
- Allow the Leche Flan and ramekin to completely cool. Refrigerate to chill.