Caramelized Orange Custard

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 1h 20m

Serves 8

Flan is the most popular dessert in almost every Spanish taberna, as well as in Portuguese tascas, where a little port or orange zest is sometimes added to flavor the custard base. Usually the custard is caramelized -- that is, baked in ramekins or custard cups that have been lined with caramel to create a sweet, golden sauce.


  • Zest of 3 oranges, in long strips
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons port wine, optional


Combine the orange zest, milk, cream and cinnamon stick in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat until small bubbles appear at the edge of the pan, then remove from the heat. Let stand for 1 hour to develop the flavors.

Combine 1 cup of the sugar and the water in a small heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, without stirring, until the liquid is golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. Carefully pour the hot syrup into the bottoms of eight 1-cup ramekins or custard cups, immediately tilting and swirling the dishes to coat the bottoms and sides with the caramel. Place the dishes in a large baking pan. Set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Strain the cream mixture through a sieve into a clean saucepan. Warm over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles appear along the edge of the pan. (Do not allow to boil.)

Meanwhile, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks and the remaining 1 cup sugar in a bowl until frothy. Gradually beat in the hot cream mixture, a little at a time. Stir in the vanilla, and then the wine, if using. Strain the mixture through a sieve into the caramel-lined dishes, dividing it evenly.

Pour hot water into the baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the custard cups. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven. Bake until a knife inserted in the center of a custard comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Remove the baking pan from the oven. Remove the dishes from the pan. Let cool for 30 minutes, then cover and refrigerate until well-chilled.

Just before serving, carefully run a knife around the inside edge of each custard and invert into individual shallow dessert bowls. Pour any extra caramel in the dishes over the custards and serve.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 708

nutrition information per serving

518 calories; 29g total fat; 325mg cholesterol; 104mg sodium; 58g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 9g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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