An authentic recipe for flan; a super easy, creamy custard made simply with eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and ricotta cheese dripping in caramel sauce. Serve with hunks of tender anise-scented stewed rhubarb for a beautiful spring dessert– the best! Naturally gluten-free!
For the flan:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
4 large eggs
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the rhubarb compote:
4 cups chopped rhubarb (don’t need to thaw if it’s frozen)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest, from 1 orange
Make the caramel. Spread sugar in an even layer in a medium frying pan. Add water and cook over medium-high heat, swirling only when necessary to cook the caramel evenly. Don’t stir too much or the sugar will crystalize.
Pour caramel into pan. When sugar turns a deep amber and starts to smoke, remove from heat and pour into the flan baking pan. Tilt the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Let cool.
Heat oven. Heat oven to 325°F and bring a kettle or pot of water to a boil.
Blend flan ingredients. Combine eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, ricotta cheese, vanilla extract, ricotta cheese and salt in the blender. Blend until smooth. Once caramel is cool enough to touch, pour flan custard into pan.
Bake flan. Pour boiling water into the larger baking dish until it reaches halfway up the sides of the flan pan. Place in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the flan is mostly set but still a little wobbly in the middle.
Chill flan. Remove from the oven and let flan rest in the water bath for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours but best to let chill overnight.
Turn out. Run a knife around the edge of the flan. Place a serving platter on top of the flan dish then turn over and give a gentle tap to release the flan. Slice and serve topped with rhubarb compote.
For the rhubarb:
Cook the compote. Combine rhubarb, sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and anise seed in a large frying pan. Place over medium-low heat and stir just until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until rhubarb is tender, about 15 minutes.
If you’d like the rhubarb to stay in distinct pieces try not to stir it too much as it cooks. The more you stir it, the more it will break up.
Let cool then remove star anise pods if using. Serve at room temperature or cold over flan. Any leftover is delicious on Greek yogurt for breakfast.