Ingredients used to make traditional Mexican flan include eggs, sugar, vanilla, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. A small bit of salt is also added to the mixture. Flan is typically cooked in a pie plate or individual custard cups.
The Food Network website features a simplified recipe for flan that uses four ingredients, and this version uses 2 cups of milk, instead of condensed and evaporated milks. Sugar is melted in a pan until it turns golden brown, and this step must be done carefully to avoid burning the sugar. Pour the caramelized sugar into custard cups, then combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Milk, sugar and eggs are boiled, strained, and then spooned over the caramelized sugar. Set the custard cups into a pan filled with hot water, and cover the cups, allowing the custard to cook for a designated time.
To bake flan in a pie plate set the pie plate into a large baking dish made from glass or ceramic material. Fill the baking dish with about 1-inch of hot water. Place the flan into the oven, and allow it to bake in the hot water until an inserted knife comes out clean. Once the flan is done, remove it from the oven, and chill it in the refrigerator.