•Get a pyrex loaf dish (or equivalent oval, square, or round dish).
•Caramelize 1/3 cup sugar in it. Use your oven. When the sugar is starting to melt, make sure that you watch carefully. You don’t want the caramel to be too dark or it will taste burnt. Manipulate the dish until you are sure that the caramel is evenly placed on the bottom of the pan. Let the pan rest on the stove top.
•Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF.
These are the cooking times:
For the first 45 minutes: 325ºF. For the next 20 to 25 minutes, until the toothpick test shows that the flan is done: 350º F
1. Separate 5 eggyolks when the eggs are cold. It’s easier to get the whites and the yolks separated. Set the whites aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix the eggyolks, eggs, condensed milk, water, and vanilla until well-blended. Set aside for a few minutes so that the mixture reaches room temperature. Do not beat up the mixture to form bubbles. Just try to make sure that the eggwhites are blended in.
3. While waiting for the mixture to reach room temperature, prepare your baine marie (bano maria).
Get a rectangular roasting pan that is slightly taller than the baking pan that you are using for your flan. Put this roasting pan inside your pre-heated oven. Add water to the pan, about mid-way. Be careful that you don’t splash water around as you heat this pan of water.
4. Get a small rounded double-meshed metal strainer, as finely-meshed as you can find them (similar to the strainer that comes with a wok). This is the secret of the recipe.
5. Get a bowl and put the strainer over it. Spoon (with a 1/4 cup measuring cup) the mixture over the metal strainer. With a rubber scraper, smoothen any eggwhites through the strainer. Using a wooden spoon (or other mixing spoon), blend the smooth mixture.
6. When you have finishing straining the mixture, blend the muixture with your wooden spoon one last time. Try not to produce any bubbles while doing this.
7. Pour the mixture on your prepared caramelized pan. It should have a thick, liquid “feel” to it.
8. Open your oven and pull out the rack with the roasting pan (that has hot water on it).
Position the Leche Flan’s pan into the center of the roasting pan.
9. Bend a little and check the height of the water around the Leche Flan’s pan. You might need to add more water (using your measuring cup) so that the water outside the pan reaches the height of the leche flan. This is the secret to having very little syneresis (or “weeping”).
For the first 45 minutes: 325 degrees Fahrenheit
For the next 20 to 25 minutes, until the toothpick test shows that the flan is done: 350 degrees Fahrenheit
11. When you take out the cooked Leche Flan from the baine marie, be careful not to splash water around. Set the pan on top of the stove or counter to cool down.