Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 8 servings
1 lemon rind, carefully pared
1 cup milk
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 cup sugar
8 whole eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Use individual ovenproof custard cups. Carefully remove the outer rind from a lemon. Don't cut too deep or you'll cut into the pulp! You just want the outer, mostly yellow layer!
Scald the milk by bringing it quickly to a boil with the lemon rind and cinnamon stick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove lemon rind and cinnamon stick after the milk cools.
For the caramel, heat 3/4 cup sugar in the bottom of a metallic pan at medium-high heat until it begins to melt. Stir constantly to prevent burning! The sugar will turn to a thick syrup with a dark brown color. Quickly remove from heat and pour into each one of your individual custard cups. Tilt back and forth to cover the bottom and sides of the dish. The syrup will harden as it cools to form a thick shell. During the baking process, this shell magically transforms itself into a delicious dark caramel syrup.
For the custard, beat the eggs with 1 cup sugar until thoroughly mixed and frothy; stir in the warm milk and the cream. Pour into the caramel-lined dishes and set it into a water bath (baño de Maria).
Bake for 35 to 50 minutes or until a knife comes out of center clean. Let cool in dish.
Before serving, loosen sides with a knife and flip onto individual plates or just serve the flan in the custard cup dusted with a little cinnamon or nutmeg.