Flan is a simple dessert that can be made prior to any dinner. A favorite of many Latin cultures, flan gives the impression that it was time consuming and labor intensive, and it will draw compliments from your family and guests. You do not need to have fancy glass dishes to make flan. Make it in simple muffin tins.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the sauce pan on the stove over medium heat and dump in the sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar becomes caramel. Stir the sugar without stopping to keep it from burning. Break up all the lumps.
Pour the caramel into the muffin tins. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
Place eggs, sugar, half-and-half and vanilla into the blender. Blend until beaten but not foamy.
Pour mixture into muffin tins over the caramel. Fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon.
Put the muffin tins into the glass baking dish and fill the dish with boiling water to 1 inch. Put the dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. The toothpick should push in and slide out easily. If the flan is not finished, continue baking and check every three or four minutes.
Remove flan from oven and place on a rack to cool for 15 minutes. To remove from the tins, run a knife along the edge of the flan, and turn the muffin tin over on a plate. Chill to help flan set and to serve later.