The Happy Home Cook: Leche Flan by Sous Vide

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Leche Flan by Sous Vide (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

Leche Flan by Sous Vide (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

My son, Tim Quirino taught me how to make Leche Flan by the Sous Vide method, a gentle cooking process via immersion in hot water. He described this as, “Leche Flan is a common dessert for family gatherings in the Philippines. It varies from being a really eggy custard to something resembling creamy vanilla tasting jello. This time I decided to sous vide small(er) portions in mason jars to see whether the consistency ended up to my liking. It came out pretty "flantastic". The photos reveal a really smooth “flandscape”. This thing is decadent. It cooks for 2 hours at 180° F.” This is an recipe which will publish in my forthcoming cookbook “How to Cook Philippine Desserts”. Makes 6 mason jars of 4 ounces each.


granulated sugar - 3/4 cup, to make caramel topping
egg yolks - 12 pieces, from large eggs
condensed milk - 1 can (14 oz./397 g)
evaporated milk - 1 can (12 fl. oz/ 354 ml)
pure vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
mason glass jars – 6 pieces (4 ounces each)

Equipment needed: Sous Vide Immersion Circulator


1. Prepare water bath & set your immersion circulator to 180F.
2. Heat sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until liquefied completely (dark caramel brown) and pour equal portions into mason jars. Set aside to cool.
3. Combine and stir yolks, milk, vanilla extract evenly (avoid beating or whisking). Once blended, strain with cheesecloth (to get the silkiest possible mixture). Pour into each mason jar; try to leave just enough room for the lid to close tightly.
4. Place closed mason jars in water bath* for 2 hours**. After removing, leave untouched to cool slowly to room temp before refrigerating. Refrigerate overnight. Once chilled, it's ready to serve.

* Don't forget that 180° F is a little under boiling temp, which means it's very hot and could burn skin. Use tongs!
** You could probably wait 2.5 hours, it's sous vide cooking after all. I was pleased with how silky it came out.

Ingredient tip: In some Philippine cookbooks, half a teaspoon of lime zest (or dayap) is used to flavor the Leche Flan. This will give the custard a faintly sweet citrus flavor. Feel free to use lime zest if that is the flavor preferred instead of vanilla.

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey, is a journalist, food writer and member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). She blogs about Filipino home cooking and culinary travels to the Philippines on her site

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