Flan is a delicious Spanish dessert of custard and caramelized sugar, typically baked in an oven inside a water bath. The use of a water bath during oven baking produces a smooth, even texture throughout by keeping the outside of the baking dish cooled to the temperature of boiling water. However, if you don’t have an oven, don’t despair. Using a little ingenuity, you can also prepare flan on the stove top.
Things You'll Need
Prepare the custard for your flan. There are hundreds of recipes for flan, but they all require that a custard be prepared. This can usually be done in a mixing bowl. If your recipe calls for the custard to be heated, follow the recipe instructions or use a double boiler to avoid curdling the custard.
Prepare the caramel. Most flan recipes call for a simple burnt-sugar caramel, which must be done on the stove top. Place sugar in a dry saucepan over medium heat and allow to cook, undisturbed, until the sugar melts. Stir slightly to ensure that all of the sugar melts, then allow it to cook without stirring until the caramel turns a dark amber color.
Prepare a steamer on top of the stove. Place a vegetable steamer rack or bamboo steamer over a pan of hot water and cover.
Assemble the flan. Pour the caramel into a baking dish or other heat-safe vessel that will fit inside your steamer and swirl to coat. Pour the custard on top of the caramel. If your steamer has a rod in the center, use a bundt-style pan with a hole in the center to accommodate the rod.
Steam the flan. Place the flan on the steamer rack and cover tightly. Steam flan according to recipe instructions, but be aware that it may take longer to cook completely in the steamer than it does in the oven. Check for doneness by shaking the baking dish. The flan should be set throughout but still jiggly in the center.