Prepare a caramel by adding the 1/4 cup of water to 3/4 cups of sugar in a small saucepan over medium to low heat. Stir while cooking until the sugar starts melting. Let it simmer. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to wash the sides of the pan free of granular sugar. When sugar starts to thicken and turn brown remove from heat and add 2 cubes of ice to stop the cooking process, being very careful not to get burned with any splattering that may occur. Coat a warm baking dish or round mold by pouring the caramel and swirl it around the sides and bottom. put the coated mold aside( By the way the mold should be 9 inches in diameter).
Now comes the good part.
In a saucepan bring to a boil the milk with the lemon peel, cinnamon stick and salt. When the mixtures starts to boil remove from heat and let it cool a little bit. (like my mother use to say: dejala refrescar).
In a medium bowl beat lightly the egg yolks, whites, vanilla and sugar until well mixed.
Pour into the bowl the slightly cooled milk and strain the egg and milk mixture into the caramel coated mold.
OK so far?.
Place the flan mold inside a baking dish filled with water up to half of the mold side, (bain Mary or baño Maria).
Now you have three choices of cooking it.
1) Cook over stove top at low to medium flame till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.
2) Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour in the middle rack. Insert a knife or toothpick in the center, if it comes out dry remove from the oven and let it cool till warm.
3) In a pressure cooker ,cook in a cup of water at 15 pounds of pressure for about 25 minutes.
When cooled place serving dish flat against top of mold and turn it upside down in a fast motion.