The word Flan in French signifies Pâstisser, a type of tart derived from the word Flaon. However, Crème Caramel and its many varieties, comes from the French dessert Crème Caramel. Note, however, that The Romans knew how the intricate process of binding with eggs. This dessert, has travelled the globe and has numerous variations in South America and Cuba as well as England, France and Spain.
Here is my recipe for the way in which Catalans ( Barcelona based ) prepare their version of this dessert. Note: in Medieval and ancient times, condensed milk did not exist, and thus, was not employed until much later in the 1800s in Argentina, where a similar dessert is made called Dulce Leche, translating to Sweet Milk.
The key to the dessert´s success, is the way one makes the caramel.
Individual oven baking molds
11 ounces / 320 grams of sugar
a cinammon stick
6 egg yolks
2 strips of lemon rind
2 whole eggs
1) in small saucepan boil 2 3/4 ounces of sugar with 2 tablespoons of water until the syrup turns a deep golden brown.
2) quickly pour into molds and cover the sides of the molds with this syrup
3) heat remaining sugar with 2 Fl. Ounces or 60 Ml. water in a saucepan
4) add lemon strips and cinammon stick and cook to a thread fine consistency at 230 degrees farenheit / 120 centigrade degrees on a candy thermometer
5) discard the lemon rinds and the cinammon stick and remove pan from stove top heat
6) beat the yolks and whole eggs together lightly and gradually pour into the hot syrup, stirring constantly; to prevent the eggs from curdling. Do very slowly.
7) strain mixture thru a fine strainer into the molds.
8) bake at 180 degrees centigrade / 350 degrees farenheit for 25 to 30 minutes until the tops of each mold are firm.
*** chill overnight before Un-molding the molds.
*** serve with a cordial of choice and espresso.