Prep 20 mins
Cook 4 hrs
A cross between flan and cheesecake with cajeta (a Mexican goat's milk caramel) I buy cajeta at a local latino market.
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 (8 ounce) package Philadelphia Cream Cheese, cut up, softened
- 5 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 dash salt
- 1⁄4 cup cajeta caramel topping
- PREHEAT oven to 350°F Place 1 cup of the sugar in small heavy saucepan; cook on medium heat until sugar is melted and deep golden brown, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Remove from heat. Immediately pour into 9-inch round baking pan; tilt pan to evenly cover bottom of pan with syrup. Set aside.
- PLACE milk and cream cheese in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. Add remaining 1 cup sugar, the eggs, vanilla and salt; cover. Blend just until smooth; add cajeta and pour into prepared baking pan. Place filled baking pan in larger baking pan; add enough hot water to larger pan to come halfway up side of smaller pan.
- BAKE 50 minute to 1 hour or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool. Carefully remove flan from water. Cool on wire rack.
- REFRIGERATE several hours or unti chilled. When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan. Then, invert pan onto serving plate to unmold flan. Store any leftovers in refrigerator. If you have trouble getting the caramel out of the pan, place the bottom of the pan in hot water and then spoon the caramel on the flan.
Saving this recipe to try later, although it is close enough to mine that I know it will be spectacular!! If you don't have ready made cajeta, the best is made with goats-milk, although regular cows milk will do. Here's an easy recipe for the real thing:
2 quarts of goat's milk, cow's milk, or a mixture of the two
2 cups sugar
1 large, plump vanilla bean, preferably Mexican, split open (or substitute 1 tablespoon pure Mexican vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
In a large, heavy pot (not iron), combine the milk, sugar, and vanilla, and place over medium heat. Stir regularly until the milk comes to a simmer and sugar is dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and add dissolved baking soda; it will bubble up at this point, especially with goat's milk. When the bubbles have subsided, return it to the heat.
Adjust heat so that the mixture is simmering briskly but not boiling. Cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture turns pale golden, about one hour.
You will now need to stir the milk more regularly as it begins to thicken and turns a caramel-brown color. Don't allow the milk to stick to the bottom of the pot. You can drop a few drops into a small glass of water. If a soft ball forms, the cajeta is ready.
If you take the pot off the heat and allow the cajeta to cool, it should be a medium-thick sauce. If it's too thick, add hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time until it is the proper consistency. If it is too thin, return to the heat until it thickens.
When the cajeta is cool, remove the vanilla bean. Strain the cajeta through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or wide-mouthed jar, then scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cajeta. Refrigerate until ready to use. Cajeta is best served warm.
We have made these in individual ramekins to serve at a Mexican wedding this summer... the test flans were PERFECT! No need to modify the recipe at all. Absolutely delicious!
I halved this recipe and used 2 XL eggs. I had made up a batch of cajeta about 10 days ago to make alfajores and decided to open up the last can to use (partly) in this. This recipe produced a velvet-y smooth and rich flan. The cream cheese really makes a difference in the overall texture, I think. The caramel syrup AND cajeta topping are the decadent 'cherries' on this flan.