Coconut flan recipe is a great addition to any recipe box/binder. The preparation can be a bit tricky since it is a dessert that requires a certain amount of babysitting. Nevertheless, it is not difficult to make. If you take your time and follow instructions carefully you will end with with an impressive and delicious dessert.
By the way, impress your friends and intimidate your enemies with this historical tidbit: flan was a common dish in the Middle Ages, however it was initially served as a savory dish; the sweet dish we know today was developed later. for more information on flan, check out my article on flan history.
Pour the melted caramel into the flan pan ( affiliate link to Amazon for some flan pans – check some out) and roll it around a bit to coat the edges and it will harden.
Combine your ingredients for the custard: Eggs get mixed with sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl and the other wet ingredients ( coconut milk and evaporated milk ) simmer and then get tempered into the egg / sugar mixture slowly.
Bake in a water bath for 40-50 minutes until set. Give it the jiggle test to see if it’s set. If it jiggles like jello it’s set and if it still makes waves to the pan edges it’s still a bit runny. A cake tester works too. 😉
- ⅓ cup lightly toasted coconut flakes
- ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¾ c. sugar for the custard
- ½ cup of sugar for the caramel
- 1 can (15 oz.) of coconut milk
- 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
- 5 eggs
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Be aware of the following: Use only a good quality vanilla extract. The difference is huge.
- You will need a roaster pan to do the water bath in. I normally use a disposable one. It can last up to three or four uses.
- I normally use a flan pan which can also be used for crème caramel (The French’s version of flan). If you do not have a flan pan, a conventional pie plate will be adequate.
- Preheat your oven to 350. Toss ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon with the coconut flakes until they are coated and lightly toast in the oven (about 5 minutes). Remove and set aside.
- In a small saucepan on medium heat slowly melt the sugar stirring constantly with a silicon spatula or a wooden spoon. The sugar should achieve a golden brown caramel color. Once the sugar begins to melt, do not walk away or you might risk burning it. Once caramelized, pour into the flan/pie pan and tilt to cover.
- In a separate saucepan, combine the evaporated milk and coconut milk and slowly bring to a simmer.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, add sugar, cinnamon eggs, salt and vanilla and mix well. Now comes the tricky part: when you temper the hot milk mixture into the cold eggs. This step needs to be done slowly and carefully or your egg mixture will certainly curdle.
- Pour your hot milk mixture into a Pyrex cup with a spout. Slowly, very slowly, pour in small amounts of the milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until it is fully incorporated. Repeat the process slowly, each time adding small amounts of your hot mixture into the eggs.
- When all ingredients are combined, use a strainer to transfer the mixture into the pan you will be baking your flan in. *Place flan pan inside a roster pan and slowly add warm water. The water level should come up about half ways up the flan pan. Bake until the center sets. You can use a cake tester to check for doneness. Flan should giggle slightly.
- *One important tip: Pull oven rack out and fill pan, this way you won’t have to transport it to the oven and risk dropping it.
- When custard is done, remove from oven and allow it to cool at room temperature in the water bath. This will allow for cooling to take place gradually. You will notice small dark flecks, don’t be alarmed, The flecks are from the cinnamon.
- To serve your flan, carefully invert onto a larger plate and sprinkle with the coconut flakes.