Lucinda’s Flan Famoso


Courtesy of Lucinda Hutson

Fairly difficult

Lucinda’s Flan Famoso


For 10 Person(s)


  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 3 Valencia oranges, zested, avoiding bitter white pith  
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 1 teaspoons mace (or other ground spices)
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons tequila añejo (or rum or brandy), divided
  • 2 tablespoons Paula’s Texas Orange
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla or ½ vanilla  pod, scraped and steeped*
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (or your favorite ground spice)

Lucinda’s Flan Famoso Directions

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°.
  2. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, slowly melt one cup of the sugar until it dissolves. Raise heat slightly and stir gently as the sugar caramelizes. When deep amber in color and fluid, pour the melted sugar into a 10” x 2” round (1 ½ quart) baking dish (12–14 individual ramekins could also be used), swirling it around to evenly coat the bottom of the dish and halfway up the sides. Work quickly and carefully with heavy mitts, as the liquid is very hot! Set aside.
  3. In a heavy pan over medium heat, scald the half-and-half with orange zest, salt and mace. Remove from heat. (When using vanilla bean, fresh herb leaves, espresso and other flavorings, add and let steep at this point for 30 minutes.)
  4. Whisk eggs and yolks together in a large bowl with the remaining sugar. Gradually add scalded half-and-half mixture to egg mixture, stirring gently. Add two tablespoons of the tequila, along with the Paula’s Texas Orange and vanilla, and strain into caramelized dish or ramekins.
  5. Create a baño de María (water bath) by placing flan dish, or ramekins, into a larger pan with deep sides. Carefully pour enough hot water into the larger pan to come halfway up the sides of the flan dish. Bake for about 1½ hours (45 minutes for ramekins). Flan is ready when the center is gently set. Remove from the oven, leaving in the water bath for about 15 minutes. Cool before covering and refrigerating overnight.
  6. To unmold flan, place chilled flan pan in a sink shallowly filled with warm water for one minute. Slide a knife around rim of the flan to loosen it, then invert an edged serving platter over the flan. While firmly holding both dishes together, invert quickly by flipping over. Remove flan pan, lightly sprinkle the flan with nutmeg (or your favorite spice) and garnish to your whim.
  7. To flambé: In a very small, heavy saucepan, barely heat remaining tequila, rum or brandy (do not boil!) and pour over top of flan. Turn off the lights and ignite the alcohol at the table.

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