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
makes 4 servings
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.
- 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.
- Immediately pour the caramel into the 4 ramekins to coat the bottom evenly. Let the caramel set and cool completely before making the custard.
Orange Custard Directions:
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF / 165ºC.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.