Flan de Naranja – Orange Custard

Flan de Naranja - Orange Custard

Flan de Naranja is a light and silky custard dessert topped with soft caramel. Instead of milk or cream, this recipe uses freshly squeezed orange juice brightened with its own zest.

This light, dare I say healthy, flan recipe is also as easy as custard desserts get. There is no need to precook the custard, which means there’s zero chance of screwing up and ending with orange-flavored scrambled eggs.

The trickiest part is making the caramel. I’m hoping that rendering a few pounds of sugar inedible for the sake of testing means that I’m somewhat qualified to give a few tips on caramelizing.

recipe adapted from Penelope Casas’ The Foods and Wines of Spain

Flan de Naranja
Orange Custard

makes 4 servings

Flan de Naranja - Orange Custard Eggs


4 six-ounce ramekins
a bain-marie / water bath (a 9 x 13-inch baking dish filled with hot water)

For the Caramel:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons corn syrup (optional)

For the Orange Custard:

6 large eggs
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (about 4 to 5 oranges)
1 teaspoon orange zest


  • Why add corn syrup to the caramel? Adding corn syrup prevents the caramel from crystallizing.
  • To caramelize the syrup evenly, a bit of agitation is needed. Swirling the pan gently instead of stirring keeps the syrup from turning into a sandy mess.

Caramel Directions:

  1. In a small skillet, mix together the sugar, water, and corn syrup (if using). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Start swirling the syrup gently (don’t stir) and continue cooking until the caramel is amber-colored.
  2. Immediately pour the caramel into the 4 ramekins to coat the bottom evenly. Let the caramel set and cool completely before making the custard.

Flan de Naranja - Orange Custard Caramel

Orange Custard Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF / 165ºC.
  2. Make the orange custard. Lightly beat the eggs with a fork until light-colored, taking care to minimize the amount of air incorporated into the eggs. Add the sugar and continue beating while pouring in the orange juice. Strain. Add the orange zest and stir.
  3. Prepare the bain-marie/water bath. Place cloth or paper towels in an empty 9×13-inch baking dish (this helps insulate the bottom of the ramekins from excessive heat). Set the ramekins on the towels and distribute the custard evenly. Place in the preheated oven and carefully pour enough hot water in the baking dish to at least the same level as the custard.
  4. Bake at 325ºF / 165ºC for 45 to 55 minutes, until the custard is set in the center. A wooden skewer inserted in the center of the custard should come out clean. Remove from the bain-marie/water bath and let cool at room temperature. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
  5. To serve, run a thin-bladed knife around the custard edge and invert on a plate to unmold. Some of the caramel will remain stuck to the bottom of the ramekins.

Flan de Naranja - Orange Custard Ramekins

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60 Responses to “Flan de Naranja – Orange Custard”

  1. Rosa says:

    Oh, how delightful! These Orange Custards look really beautiful and must taste extremely good!



  2. Pigpigscorner says:

    THe caramel layer looks perfect! Thanks for the corn syrup tiP!

  3. Mindy says:

    I love Penelope Casas, but haven’t tried this recipe–it looks wonderful! And I love that you don’t have to heat the eggs beforehand.

  4. Girl Japan says:

    Flan is one of the best desserts, The orange flan, stunning, and I’ve never had the delight of tasting orange flan.. The photos look fabulous.

  5. natalia says:

    Ciao ! This is really a wonderful and healthy idea !!!

  6. Happy Cook says:

    Looks so beautiful and yummy.
    In our language in India in malayalam we call orange Naranja too.

  7. Joelen says:

    i love how you made this leche flan – yum!

  8. Ben says:

    I have made flans with a lot of different flavors, but never occurred to me to try orange. It looks so appetizing that I want some for breakfast now :)

  9. kat says:

    Flan always make me thing of being in Spain

  10. marguerite says:

    Those look beautiful and delicious!!

  11. Jescel says:

    jude, anything you do is fabulous.. you must have the Midas’ touch! :o ) forget breakfast, lunch or dinner — you can give me those flans and i’ll live on it :o )

  12. lisaiscooking says:

    Caramel is my favorite, and orange flan sounds fantastic! The ingredient list is so simple, and it’s a beautiful dessert.

  13. Manggy says:

    Hee! Congratulations on the perfect caramel– my problem has always been cleaning up! My pan heats unevenly so there’s always one spot that gets stuck-on sugar, yecch. I can’t believe this dairy-less custard worked– it looks fantastic! I gotta try it sometime.

  14. ingrid says:

    Looks & sounds wonderful….I love flan! Thanks for the helpful tips.

    I’m gonna check out your archives & see what else you have hidden! :-)

  15. grace says:

    i’m not a real big fan of custardy things, but i’ll give anything doused in caramel a chance. :)

  16. Marvin says:

    Dairy-less custard? Who knew? Behold the power of eggs!

  17. snooky doodle says:

    what an interesting recipe. This i have to try there are so great oranges at the moment. Hope I don’t screw up the caramel, I m great in that.Hopefully following your instructions I won’t do that :)

  18. Hayley says:

    Just the other day my uncle asked if I would post a flan recipe. Looks like I might have to start here. Thanks for sharing!

  19. The Duo Dishes says:

    Great substitution ideas. And all this time, we thought you had to have milk/cream in order to create a true custard.

  20. Mary says:

    Oh my! That looks absolutely divine and the orange looks so fresh tasting. My last experiment with carmelizing sugar did not turn out well though…

  21. Madam Chow says:

    This looks pretty fabulous. Flan is one of my favorite desserts, and I love citrus. Yet another one of your posts that I have to bookmark!

  22. Natashya says:

    So pretty and colourful! I have this book on my wishlist – have you tried any other recipes? Would you recommend it?

  23. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella says:

    Wow, a light custard, I like the sounds of that. And that picture of the oranges-absolute perfection!

  24. Vera says:

    This one is unusually light! And I have no doubts about its deliciousness!

  25. Caitlin says:

    Beautiful! And I hope that burning a bunch of sugar eventually means you are an expert – maybe I haven’t burnt enough yet?

  26. noble pig says:

    Oh how I love flan…this is just a delicious sounding recipe.

  27. Duo – I wasn’t sure if orange juice and eggs can be considered a custard, too. I looked up a few sources, and it looks like any liquid thickened with eggs qualifies as a custard:

    Natashya – I definitely recommend it. My only gripe about it is the lack of photos. Sometimes I have no idea what a dish is supposed to look like. The recipes are solid with the exception of the bread section. Some of the baking times and ingredient proportions just seem way off.

  28. Roz says:

    I love flan. I could eat a whole pan but I like leche flan best.

  29. Ning says:

    Thanks for the tip regarding the caramel. That has always been a trouble spot for me whenever I make custards. Btw, I think the Filipino word for winter melon is kundol – not the candy, though.

  30. Dee says:

    I love jiggly desserts :)
    And thanks for the light bulb moment re. the corn syrup!

    I’ve never made popovers. Is the batter similar to the dutch babies, then?

  31. Olga says:

    Love flan. Once, a guy I was dating made it for me: what a way to a girl’s heart :)

    Your pictures are beautiful as always.

  32. Oggi says:

    Ooh, I love flan de naranja. I made it for New Year’s Eve dinner, the recipe from another Spanish cookbook.

    Lovely photos as usual.

  33. Sandie says:

    This is gorgeous. I love flans in general, but this recipe, with the citrus and caramel, is irresistible. Between the recipe itself and your orange and egg photo, this post is a thing of beauty!

  34. sweetbird says:

    This looks so good it makes me wish I liked orange. And for me, that’s saying a lot…

  35. noobcook says:

    the orange hue is so vibrant and your lighting is always perfect. looks super delicious ;p~

  36. Heather says:

    Custards are my favorite of all desserts – creamy, sweet and a little savory (the egginess is the winner). Beautiful with the orange, Jude.

  37. Soma says:

    That is a very refreshing idea. I make the regular caramel one, never thought of using the orange juice… when i alwyas like anything orange.. i think i’ll give this a try sometimes..

  38. Peter says:

    Flans and creme caramels are so easy, delish and like here, versatile (not to mention pretty).

  39. hong says:

    Hi, thanks for recipe. I made this last night. I’ve never made flan before nor eatened much, but i made a test run for my gf for this weekend. anyhow, i didn’t have corn syrup so i substituted honey (not sure if it has the same effect). The caramel immediately hardened in the ramiken. I followed the remainder of your instructions and when i unmolded after chilling overnight, there was a thin amber film of caramel on top. Is that supposed to be correct or should the entire hard caramel be on top? Most of the caramel remained in the ramiken.

  40. Carolyn Jung says:

    Wow, there’s no dairy in this? Amazing! This would be a perfect treat for my friends who are lactose-intolerant.

  41. Hannah says:

    Lovely, and the idea of adding orange is very enticing. I must remember this for my next custard while citrus is still in season.

  42. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen says:

    Now that is absolutely gorgeous! Your photos keep getting better and better (as if that was possible???). I so want this right now!

  43. Jacque says:

    How interesting! I didn’t know it was possible to make custard without milk or cream. So there, I learned something today :)

    Your orange custard looks absolutely perfect and delish!

  44. Hong, Sounds like you got it right. I should’ve mentioned that the caramel is supposed to set in the ramekin (I edited the instructions). Ideally you want as much of the caramel on the flan when you unmold it, but some of it will remain stuck to the bottom of the ramekin no matter what.

  45. _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver says:

    This custard sans milk/cream is very intriguing for me.

  46. Meeta says:

    simply gorgeous jude! please excuse me for missing a few great posts here. but now i am drooling! love the orange falvors!

  47. utotmopink says:

    I like leche flan, but I have to avoid sweets.
    Is there such thing as no sugar leche flan?

  48. Splenda might work but don’t hold me to it. Something tells me it might not set up properly.

  49. Ela says:

    leche flan without the guilt! sarap!!!

  50. Leela says:

    Made this tonight. Absolutely delicious.

  51. Rosy says:


  52. Naailah says:

    Hi..do u use metric cup or US cup? plzzzz let me know as i want to try this asap..i usually measure my ingredients in grams

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    Remarkably descriptive article, I liked that a whole lot. Will there be a part 2?

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