Zia Regina’s Flan

A Flan Recipe from RHWNJ Kathy


This smooth, silky flan is from none other than Kathy Wakile, one of the RHWNJ. She is serious about her desserts and has written a new book, Indulge, while also tending to her busy dessert focused website. Read our interview with Kathy and also check out her Caramel Apple Ravioli.

From Indulge: Delicious Little Desserts That Keep Life Real Sweet by Kathy Wakile, with Miriam Harris. Copyright © 2014 by the authors and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, LLC. Food photography by Andrei Jackamets.


My father’s sister Regina emigrated from Italy to Brazil in the 1940s. My dad and she were close in age and adored each other. They also are the two siblings who looked most alike, so it is especially moving to see her every time she comes to America to visit. Zia Regina is a very stylish lady with flamboyant charm, a touch of Brazilian spice mixed in with her Italian brio. She taught my mom and me how to make flan the traditional way it is served in Brazil. Delicioso!




Twelve 4-ounce ramekins

Zia Regina’s Flan
Makes: 1 dozen
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1¾ cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  1. Heat the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar melts and darkens to an amber brown color, about 5 minutes, swirling occasionally to dissolve all of the sugar and distribute the color uniformly.
  2. Working quickly and carefully (and gently rewarming the caramel if it cools and begins to solidify), use a metal tablespoon to divide the caramelized sugar among the baking dishes, tilting each dish to coat the bottom (don’t worry if you don’t get it to spread much).
  3. Set the dishes aside and allow the caramelized sugar to cool and harden completely.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack positioned in the center.
  5. Combine the milks and eggs in a blender and whip for 1 minute.
  6. Divide the milk mixture among the baking dishes, and set the dishes in a roasting pan or other large rimmed baking dish. Add hot water to the roasting pan to fill at least halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake until the tops of the flans are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes (the flan will appear to be a bit wobbly but will firm up as it cools).
  7. Cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving. Once the flan is completely chilled, run the tip of a sharp knife around the edge of each baking dish, then set a dessert plate (one large enough to fit the flan as well as the caramel syrup) on top of each baking dish and invert to unmold, with the caramel pooling around the custard.


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