There are many ways of creating a perfect flan, the majority of which were discovered after years of trial and error.
When cooked properly, flan is creamy, sweet, and has an eggy texture. Its topping has a distinct caramel flavor, with a touch of toasty sugar.
It’s often compared to the crème Brulé and panna cotta for taste. However, these dishes are pretty different in their texture.
Flan’s texture is more like a meringue.
With a list of ingredients that includes eggs, sweetened condensed milk, granulated sugar, cream cheese, and, of course, vanilla, you’re probably imagining something soft, silky, and smooth with a delightful milky flavor.
Unfortunately, that won’t be true of undercooked flan which will have too much liquid.
Instead of looking like Jell-O, the undercooked flan will be more liquid, and its center won’t set.
Can I salvage undercooked flan?
To salvage undercooked flan, increase the temperature of the oven by an extra 50°F and bake the failed flan again for another ten to fifteen minutes.
Prevention is better than cure–cook the perfect flan right off the bat
When is flan perfectly cooked?
The flan is finished when it is light-colored and soft to the feel but not dry and hard.
When the flan is cooked to perfection, a knife that’s pushed into its middle should emerge clean.
A flan cooked too long can create acne-like bubbles on its surface and it will have an eggy, insipid taste.
It will have a firm, chewy, lumpy texture, like a horrid, vanilla-tasting sheet of rubber.
Undercooked flan is ‘runny’ and funny, but not funny in a good way. If looking at your flan makes you feel queasy and uneasy, there’s a 99.9% chance that you’ve undercooked it.
How to cook the perfect flan
The most effective method of making this delicious dessert is baking it in a water bath and Bain-Marie.
This technique requires placing ramekins inside a roasting pan filled with water until the pan is about half to two-thirds full the height of the ramekins.
Bain-Marie is a method of cooking food on low heat and baking for extended periods. The wait time is longer but it is definitely worth it.
The water bath Bain-Marie method is ideal for dishes that are sensitive and need gentle heating to keep the food from burning or curdling.
Cooking the perfect plan–getting ready
#1. Bring water to a boil and then set it aside. If you boil the water before baking, the cooking time is reduced.
#2. Get a deep bottom baking pan. Place two layers of kitchen towel on the bottom of the pan as lining.
This cushioning will shield the ramekins against intense temperatures from the bottom and ensure the flan remains stable.
Also, if the water begins to boil, the pots will move around.
These kitchen towels will help to keep them in place.
Cooking the perfect plan–baking
#3. With the oven set to 300°F, boiling water ready at the right temperature, caramel coat laid on top of the ramekins, and the custard has reached room temperature, it’s time to start baking:
- Pour the custard mixture inside the ramekins. When pouring, do it close to the dish so that splashes don’t create bubbles.
- Be sure the filling can cover 3/4 of the size of the flans. This will result in prettier, more delicious flans.
- Cover the ramekins using aluminum foil to prevent steam from the boiling water interfering with the flan.
#4. Transfer the pan with the towels and ramekins (don’t add water just yet) into the preheated oven.
When the pan is nicely set up and stable on a tray in the oven, it is now safe to pour boiling water into the pan–you are less likely to seriously hurt yourself.
Make certain that water is not poured into the ramekins.
#5. Bake for about half an hour. The center of each flan should be nearly set, but if cooked to perfection, it will still jiggle a bit.
Cooking the perfect plan–post-baking finishing
#6. When the flans have been baked, quickly take them out of the oven. Cool them in the bath water for at least an hour.
After cooling, cover each with a saran wrap before leaving them in the refrigerator overnight, or at the very least, for four hours before serving.
#7. Use a knife to run around the edges of the ramekin and cut out the flan. Break off the seal. You should expect to see caramel bubbling out after flipping the ramekin over.
8. Set a flat serving dish face-up on top of the ramekin. Keep the plate in place when you flip it.
The flan should drop into the dish. Pour some caramel sauce onto the flan.
How to avoid overcooking flan
Avoid the problem of overcooked flan by taking the flan containers off the stove as soon as possible after baking.
There’s a natural desire to cook flans for a bit longer, especially in the belief that the middle is still slightly jiggly.
Please, curb your enthusiasm.
Flans continue to cook after being removed from the oven and can even continue to cook while cooling!
Flans can be wrecked by oven settings
Electric ovens come with different heating elements. Gas ovens come with different gas sparkers.
For this reason, first, place your baking pan on the bottommost rack and bake the flans at 300۠°F.
If you’re lucky and have an oven that you can set and receive exact temperatures, place the baking pan on a middle rack, then bake the flans at 320°F.
Everything depends on your oven’s temperature control. If the temperature is so low that it requires baking for longer, you might want to think about getting a better oven eventually.
Keep an eye on your flan. You must observe the progress of your flan at set temperatures or baking/steaming time.
Do not try to eat undercooked flan
Hopefully, by closely following the steps outlined above, you’ve cooked a perfect flan.
However, if you’ve been unlucky and you’ve ended up with a dumpster fire of a mess, do keep in mind that flan that isn’t cooked long can lead to food poisoning because salmonella may result from eggs that have been cooked poorly.
Furthermore, never leave flan out for longer than an hour at room temperature, otherwise, bacteria can (and probably will) develop in it.
Instead, refrigerate your flan as soon as recommended in the ‘Steps’ section above.
Frequently Asked Question About Can I salvage undercooked flan
My flan still comes out undercooked. What could I be doing wrong?
If you are closely following all the steps outlined above, then the most likely cause of your problems is the wrong proportion of ingredients. In all likelihood, the quantity of milk and/or eggs you’re using is wrong. Try using the proportion of ingredients described in a different recipe.
My flan isn’t coming out of the ramekin easily. What should I do?
First, don’t panic. This is a common problem, and the solution is not only dead easy, but it is also highly effective, and it won’t damage your flan in the least bit. So, put boiling water into a large-bottom dish. Dip it in quickly and then flip it over onto the serving dish. Repeat this process until the flan falls out easily.
Conclusion About Can I Salvage Undercooked Flan
Finding out the best way to avoid undercooking or overcooking flan can be difficult due to the numerous possibilities for making a host of mistakes.
If you undercook it, just bake it for longer as described above. If you have overcooked it, try adding some whipped cream to improve the texture and enhance the flavor.