Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Flan de Jamaica {Hibiscus Flan} + a Pairings Box Giveaway

October 12, 2015
A creamy, silky flan flavored with fragrant hibiscus flowers turning this classic Latin dessert a beautiful pink hue.

CONGRATULATIONS TO DENISE! You’ve won the Pairings Box. Thank you to all who left a comment and shared the post on social media.

As we enter into the gift-giving season may I make a suggestion? Be cool. Give gifts that make the recipient exponentially cooler and in turn making yourself look pretty swank too. A really cool gift is one that just keeps on giving. No lie.

I bring this up because I have probably the coolest gift you can give anyone….and I’m giving you the chance to win a preview, so you can be like, “Oh, your welcome. I’ve been getting it forever.” Say it very nonchalant for maximum affect.

Ok, here it is.

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It is called a Pairings Box and it is put together by my friends Kasey and Matthew over at Turntable Kitchen. It is a monthly subscription service that includes an exclusive 7″ vinyl, digital mixtape, a premium ingredient, 3 seasonal recipes, and tasting notes. Essentially, the latest music + beautiful food all in one box. Every. Month.

Hibiscus Flower Flan

When Kasey asked if I’d lend a hand with the September box (because she just gave birth to the most beautiful twins the world has ever seen) I was so excited to come up with something fun, bright, and of course, Mexican. I chose dried hibiscus flowers (flor de jamaica) as my premium ingredient and came up with three recipes that flaunt the tart bud’s character.

Flan de Jamaica

I was swimming with so many ideas that I had a hard time narrowing it down to three. To tempt you I’m sharing one more hibiscus recipe today. A silky flan steeped with the bright, floral flavor of hibiscus. One more reason to get a Pairings Box subscription….or throw your name in the hat for the giveaway.

Jamaica Flan

To win the September Pairings Box just leave me a comment below and tell me your favorite way to enjoy dried hibiscus flowers or if you’ve never had them before then let me know what your favorite Mexican ingredient is. For extra chances to win, share this post on the social media platform of your choice (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) along with the hashtag #holajalapeno. You can even share on all three for three entries. A winner will be picked at random on Monday, October 19th.

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Flan de Jamaica {Hibiscus Flan} Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart The hibiscus flowers need to steep in the milk overnight and then the finished flan needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours so plan ahead. If the milk curdles slightly when you add the flowers don't worry, any lumps will get strained out with the dried flowers, but be warned, the more you stir the milk-flower mixture, the more it will curdle. So it's best to give a quick stir to combine, then leave to steep undisturbed. The easiest way to get caramel-coated pots and pans clean is to fill them with water and bring to a boil, the caramel will instantly melt away. You can watch a pregnant me demonstrate it here.
Serves: 8 servings
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup dried hibiscus flowers (flor de jamaica)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Heat milk and ½ cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Heat gently until milk just starts to bubble around the edges, do not boil. Pour into a heatproof bowl and stir in hibiscus flowers. Let cool then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Heat oven to 325°F. Place a 9-inch ring mold or 8 (4-ounce) ramekins in a roasting pan. Bring a large kettle of water to a boil.
  3. Combine 1 cup of the sugar and the ¼ cup of water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar then let cook, undisturbed, until amber in color, about 8 minutes. Immediately pour the hot caramel into the bottom of the ring mold, or divide it evenly between the ramekins, swirling to coat.
  4. Whisk eggs, yolks, remaining ½ cup of sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
  5. Strain the hibiscus-milk mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat just until little bubbles form around the edges of the pan.
  6. Slowly add warm milk into the egg mixture, whisking continuously until smooth. Strain mixture one last time then pour into mold or ramekins.
  7. Place roasting pan in the oven then add boiling water, making sure it reaches halfway up the sides of the mold or ramekins. Bake until set, about 30-35 minutes.
  8. Remove to a wire rack and let cool 30 minutes. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
  9. To serve, run a sharp knife around the inside edge or the mold or ramekins, place a plate on top, invert and lift mold off. If flan is not releasing briefly dip the bottom of the mold or ramekins in hot water and try again.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

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  • Kayley October 12, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    I like to have the hibiscus flowers in tea.

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos October 13, 2015 at 2:08 am

      Yes, Kayley! I looooove hibiscus tea.

  • Lola (Lola's Cocina) October 12, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    I love making hibiscus iced tea or Mexican Arnold Palmers (agua de jamaica + limonada). Then, I chop and sautee the rehydrated flowers with onion, olive oil, and garlic and use the mixture in quesadillas, tacos, or taquitos! I’ve also been making a delicious jam out of hibiscus flowers.:)

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos October 13, 2015 at 2:09 am

      Oh Lola, You never cease to amaze me. I would never have thought to saute the flowers—how delicious! And Mexican Arnold Palmers and jam are now on my to do list! 🙂

  • Katie {moms kitchen handbook} October 13, 2015 at 2:19 am

    Gorgeous recipe, Kate. I love Turntable Pairings Box…such a cool gift. As for hibiscus flowers, I’m a novice. I love the flavor and color, but have never cooked with them before. Now I will!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos October 13, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Thank you Katie! I hope you get a chance to give them a try. You can buy them in bulk at any Mexican market.

  • Geraldine October 13, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Hibiscus tea and you are the one that got me hooked on this good stuff! 😉

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos October 13, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Agua de Jamaica is my favorite agua fresca, Geraldine!

  • Lola October 13, 2015 at 3:39 am

    Yes! I first tried them in a salad in Mexico City and they brought the same tangy sweetness that dried cranberries do. Then my cousins told me about how they use the flowers in quesadillas, so I took it step further and tried them in tacos and taquitos. Most of the recipes I mentioned are on my website. You’ll never throw away your rehydrated flowers again once you taste them in these savory dishes!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos October 13, 2015 at 11:29 am

      That is genius, Lola! And think of all those tasty creations I’ve thrown in the trash…

  • Susan October 13, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    My very favorite way to use jamaica (apart from the wonderful agua fresca), is a mole, which uses jamaica and pecans with the chili peppers. Please don’t enter me in this giveaway – I wouldn’t know what to do with it. No clue what a mixtape is or how one would play it… and I don’t do subscription services. BTW, your jamaica flan sounds wonderful.

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos October 13, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Oh Susan, that mole sounds to die for, I might have to try to recreate that recipe at home. And I appreciate your honesty about the giveaway…I will keep your name out of the mix. 🙂 Thanks, as always, for leaving a comment.

  • Adina October 13, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    I love this kind of baked milk desserts. I have never seen dried hibiscus leaves around here but I can imagine this would be great even without them. I live in Europe, so I guess there is no need for me to enter the give away. 🙂

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos October 13, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      Thank you Adina! I’m not sure of the availability of hibiscus flowers in Europe, but you could always order some online. Here’s a good resource:

  • Nicole October 13, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    This flan looks and sounds so amazing! I love jamaica and I love flan, but I never even thought of combining the two. What a glorious pairing! This is a nice treat that would be good at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Like Lola said, jamaica reminds me of cranberry 😉

    • Nicole October 13, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      PS…I’d love to try Fany Gerson’s jamaica doughnut at Dough. It looks delicious!

  • maria pandremmenou October 13, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    i have never tried this flower in the kitchen! my favorite mexican ingridient is jalapenos of course!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos October 14, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Clearly Maria, you can’t go wrong with jalapeños! 🙂

  • nicole October 14, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    this flan looks delicious! the first picture is stunning, the colors are so vibrant and reminiscent of frida kahlo’s color palette, really nice design too btw. i like jamaica in a warm fruit punch, which i made for the first time last year to celebrate the winter solstice. the ponche de navidad recipe i followed was yours! and boy was it a hit. thanks for another great recipe.

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos October 15, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Thanks, Chica! We should make some of that punch when we meet up in Chicago!

  • Denise Browning@From Brazil To You October 15, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    What an interesting recipe. I have heard of hibiscus tea, agua fresca, popsicle, chocolate hibiscus cookies and other treats but never of a flan… and I will have to try this flan recipe. I became a real fan of everything hibiscus.

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos October 15, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Chocolate hibiscus cookies?!!!! How would you make those? Use the whole leaves or make some sort of infusion. Sounds amazing!