My Mother’s Flan
How better to celebrate mother's day than with my mom's recipe for flan?
This past Sunday was Mother’s Day in Spain, and we’ll celebrate here in America this coming Sunday, so I thought I would share with you a recipe from my mother Marisa (the one who taught me to love blue cheese!). This is a dessert my mom used to make for Sunday lunch when I was growing up. My brothers and I loved it and we had this crazy tradition of trying to eat it all in one bite. Seriously, we would try to slurp it down in one big mouthful. It was messy and amazing and we had so much fun, and it is a really nice memory from my life growing up.
My mother’s flan was not like the flans you have probably had. It was not always smooth and creamy. It was a little bumpy…it had these little air bubbles in it because she made it in our home oven, which was not the best piece of equipment. It was always getting too hot, which made all those little bubbles in the flan. But that is what made it so special to me…this flan became part of my DNA, and it takes me back home in my mind and in my heart.
I am sure you have those recipes too that remind you of another time in your life, whether it’s something made by your own mother or grandmother? It’s the kind of recipe that when you smell it cooking, you remember yourself in a different place, another stage of your life. Food can be transporting in that way, like a kind of time machine taking you back to visit parts of yourself.
The recipe for flan I am sharing with you here was inspired by my mother Marisa (but don’t worry, it isn’t full of bubbles…unless your oven is acting up!). If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making the caramel for the flan you can also use good quality maple syrup instead. Cook it until it is reduced to a thick dark sticky syrup and then coat the ramekins as you would with the caramel and continue with the recipe.
If you want to make it at home for your mom (or encourage someone to make it for YOU), keep reading!! We also serve it in all of my Spanish restaurants, and especially this weekend as we are celebrating all of the mothers of the world—if you want to try my mom’s recipe, go to your nearest Jaleo, Spanish Diner, or Mercado Little Spain. Otherwise, start cooking!
Flan in My Mother’s Style