This family recipe tastes like a vanilla cloud.
Rabat – If you and I were truly lazy, I would simply recommend buying an instant flan from the grocery store. In contrast, we both know deep down that we are efficient, capable, and goal-oriented.
With Ramadan upon us, now is the time for us to put in a bit of work to impress family and friends. In other words, now is the time to learn how to cook a simple but delicious flan!
The number one rule for “lazy cooks” is if the number of ingredients exceeds the number of the cook’s fingers, the dish is not worth making. My mom’s recipe for homemade flan requires only three.
- ½ liter of milk
- 5 eggs
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
Let us laze away!
First, scramble the eggs in a large bowl and add in the sugar. Four tablespoons usually suffice, but feel free to indulge your sweet tooth. Mix well until the eggs turn into a homogeneous consistency before pouring the milk, and mix again.
My mom says a hint of vanilla extract reduces the intensity of the eggs, but with Morocco under lockdown, it is hardly worth the grocery trip. If you are feeling fancy and have at least four fingers, try a tablespoon or so. Either way, your mixture is ready for the oven!
Next, pour the mixture into individual heat resistant containers, which should amount to five large servings or 10 Moroccan tea cups. I used a family size dish for less dishes to clean. Then, in a preheated oven, put the containers in a bain-marie.
Cheat sheet: While you preheat the oven, save yourself some time by pre-boiling the water for the bain-marie. If your oven is small like mine, you might want to consider turning off the upper flames.
I cannot tell you to what exact temperature you should preheat the oven, because my mom, who has been making the recipe for over 30 years, couldn’t say for sure! That brings me to “lazy cook” rule number two: Keep your cooking simple.
I am an avid supporter of cooking as an artform, but it is a series of chemical reactions in practical reality. I tried 320 degrees Celsius and was satisfied with the result, so unless you are a stickler for exact figures, try baking your flan somewhere around that temperature. Just look at the pictures of my freeform flan–it is clearly a success!
Let it cook for about an hour, though if you are using individual servings it might require less time. You can double check that the flan is ready by inserting a knife. If it comes out clean, your dessert is ready.
I will let you in on a little secret, if it is not too obvious by now: This was my first time making the homemade flan. If I can bake a delicious wobbly dessert on my first attempt, you have no excuse not to try.
Any dish that requires a greater time investment and detailed preparation is for the real heroes. It is a task for the moms, the dads, and the chefs, or, in my case, every family member except for myself! For now, my pride in a simple flan will have to suffice.