This post comes to us from Cuban food writer and personal chef Bren Herrera. We asked Bren to contribute a flan recipe for Cinco de Mayo because she specializes in Latin food.
Now is the time of the year when compradres y comadres organize bar parties in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. I remember standing outside an uber popular Latin fusion restaurant in DC not too many ‘Cinco’s’ ago. It was so overcrowded; I had little hope of simply getting a foot in the front door. At that point, I decided it would be far better to celebrate all things Mexican… at home.
I’ve actually not yet hosted an at-home Cinco de Mayo fiesta, but if I were to quickly assemble some amigos, I know exactly what I’d serve. See, I make a superb flan. Culinary gods like Joël Robuchon have reveled in the texture of my tricky egg custard. It’s the one dessert I’ve always loved and have spent the last 5 years mastering.
Thanks to this Cinco de Mayo, I had an epiphany. I added a new flan to my repertoire: tequila flavored flan! During a return trip from Puerto Vallarta last summer, I picked up a pretty blue bottle of tequila called “Agavero.” It had hints of almond… so I thought. Turns out, Agavero is surprisingly a tequila liqueur infused with damiana, a deliciously potent Mexican aphrodisiacal flower. I was hooked after my first sip.
I think it’s oh so appropriate that a flan made with this Mexican tequila make my list of indulgences for tomorrow. I made it; I smelled it; I tasted it and my report… genius move! So, I highly recommend you try this recipe yourself. Your amigos will surely toast your genius tomorrow.
Agavero Tequila Flan
6 tbsp. sugar
3 whole eggs, whisked
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup 2% or whole milk
¼ c. Agavero tequila
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lime zest for garnish
In a bowl, combine eggs, sweetened condensed & whole milk, tequila and extract. Whisk for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
Add sugar to the aluminum flan mold and bring to medium-high heat. Allow all of the sugar to melt down until golden caramel, stirring constantly. Do not allow the color of the sugar to become too dark and burn. When sugar is fully liquefied, carefully coat the bottom and sides of the flan mold using hand towels to hold the pan (I suggest using a brush if you are not experienced in handling extremely hot caramel). Let sit for 2 minutes until sugar sets. Pour mixture into pan using a medium mesh hand strainer. Close pan tightly.
Pressure-cooking the flan
Fill your 6 qt. pressure cooker* with 3 cups of water or up to 2″ from the bottom. If using a 10 qt. pressure cooker, add an additional cup of water. Carefully place the flan mold in the center. Close the lid to your pressure cooker. If using a vintage model, place the jiggler on top. If your vintage model has a jiggler with 3 PSI settings, set it to 15. If using a new model that that does not have a jiggler (which I would recommend), lock it and turn your heat on to high. At exactly 5 minutes you will hear the pressure cooker start to hiss. This means it has reached its pressure point. Let cook on that setting and on high for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and allow the flan to finish cooking with the remaining pressure inside the cooker. Do not cook for more than an additional 5 minutes, even with heat turned off. Your new model will allow you open the lid once all of the pressure is released. If you’re using an older model, remove pressure cooker from stove and place under cold running water until all pressure has been released. Open carefully and remove your flan pan using dishtowels or thick oven gloves. Be extremely careful, as the cooker is really hot.
Do not remove flan from pan. Refrigerate for 7-9 hours or overnight. To serve, use a butter knife to loosen the sides of the flan all the way around. Take a large plate, place upside down on top of flan and flip! Serve on large plate. Garnish entire flan with lime zest. Be careful not to waste any of the caramel sauce, cuz it’s too good!
* If you do not have a pressure cooker, simply click here for the traditional method of making flan.