Every culture has its favorite custard dessert, and flan is the crème caramel of Hispanic countries. It is velvety smooth and rich, and has a more dense texture than custards baked without condensed milk. The flan can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Leave it in the pan until ready to serve.
- Sugar - 3/4 cup
- Eggs - 3
- Egg Yolks - 3
- Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoons
- Sweetened Condensed Milk - one, 14-ounce can
- Milk - 1-3/4 cups
- Cream Cheese - 2 ounces, at room temperature
- Strawberries - 8, four sliced and four cut into fans
- Warm Caramel Syrup - 2 cups
Place the sugar in a small skillet over medium-high heat and stir while it liquefies. Allow the sugar to boil and turn a walnut brown, stirring occasionally. Watch carefully so that it does not burn.
Pour the caramel into the bottom of a 9-inch flan pan or souffle dish and, working quickly, spread it evenly over the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, milks, and cream cheese in a blender or food processor and process for at least 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the flan pan and place in a baking pan in the center of the oven. Pour boiling water halfway up the sides of the pan and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Watch carefully and cover the flan with foil if the top seems to be getting too brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. If serving later, press plastic wrap on the surface and place in the refrigerator. If serving immediately, run a small knife around the edges to loosen the flan. Place a deep-sided plate over the top and invert, then lift off the flan pan; the caramel will now be on the top of the flan.
To serve: Garnish the flan with strawberry fans and slices. Cut into wedges. Pool caramel sauce on each serving plate and place a wedge on each.