I often have extra egg yolks because I’m always making Italian meringue buttercream, or meringue-based desserts like french macarons. Most of the time I either take my leftover egg yolks and make custards for cakes, creamy custard-based ice creams in the summer, or pot de crèmes. Some days, however, I really just want to throw something together with the least amount of ingredients possible, and those are the days I take my egg yolks and make a leche flan. For the past few years I’ve been keeping them basic, sometimes added lemon zest if I really felt like it. This time however, I felt like changing up the flavour profile and experimenting with tea — specifically earl grey.
I used to work at a coffee shop as a barista, and one of my favourite drinks to make was a London fog. An earl grey tea topped with steamed, frothy, velvety milk, and a little bit of vanilla extract. This tea has a black tea base, citrus notes from the oil of a bergamot orange rind, in a London Fog, the added milk and vanilla makes it creamy and almost floral. I decided to add this flavour profile to a traditional leche flan because a leche flan is sweet, milky, with a distinct burnt caramel flavour, making it super versatile and easy to flavour.
There are two slightly tricky parts to making a leche flan. First would be the caramel, and second would be the water bath. For both I have two tips and tricks — the less you touch your caramel as it begins to cook, the better. This reduces the risk of your caramel crystallizing prematurely. Just be sure to watch it and swirl it a few times after it becomes a deep amber to see the colour clearly and slow down cooking (which is super helpful to stop your caramel cooking so it doesn’t burn). The second tip is that you should add your hot water for your water bath after your cake pans are in the oven, reducing the risk of burns by not carrying a full, boiling hot water tray around your kitchen. The extra tip to make sure this leche flan comes out velvety and delicious, would be to strain your custard mixture before adding to your pans, and mixing with a spatula instead of a whisk to eliminate the risk of incorporating air bubbles into the custard.
Follow all these tips and you’re guaranteed to have a super delicious leche flan that comes together very quickly and easily.
Earl Grey Leche Flan
This makes 2 x 6″ round leche flans
For the caramel
150g (3/4 cup) sugar
50g (1/4 cup) water
For the Milk Tea
4g (2 tbsp or 2 teabags) loose leaf earl grey tea
63g (1/4 cup) milk
For the Custard
200-220g or 10-11 egg yolks
1 300mL can condensed milk
1 345mL can evaporated milk
4g (1 tsp) vanilla extract (optional)
- Bring the sugar and water to a rolling boil on high heat in a small saucepan. Let it boil until it reaches a deep amber colour, about 5-7 minutes. Immediately divide between 2 x 6″ round pans. Set aside to cool.
- Bring the milk to a boil with the tea and take off heat. Let stand for 10 minutes to steep.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
- In a medium mixing bowl or large jug, mix the egg yolks and condensed milk with a spatula. Once combined, add in the evaporated milk. Pour into a different medium bowl and strain the mixture. Strain and add the milk tea as well. Stir slowly to combine the custard mixture, and then add vanilla if using.
- Once the caramel has cooled completely and is solid/cool to the touch, slowly pour the custard mixture over the caramel and place into a large baking tray with high sides. This will hold the water for your water bath.
- Place everything into the lower rack of the oven and pour boiling hot water into the larger pan, being careful not to pour water into the leche flan. Pour until the water reaches about halfway up the custard/cake pan. Carefully push into the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the top is matte and jiggles slightly when shaken.
- Place a wire rack between the hot water pan and place the cake pans with leche flan on top of the wire rack to steam the bottom of the pans. This will allow the remaining caramel to melt. Leave to cool completely at room temperature.
- Once cooled, run a knife around the edge of the leche flan, place a large plate on top, and flip to invert the leche flan onto the plate.
- Serve chilled or have a warm slice out of the pan like I do. Enjoy!