Flan is a traditional New Mexico desert especially on a farm with lots of milk and eggs. This cuts better if made the day before. There are several rules to making flan. To make the caramel, heat a small heavy frying pan and add ½ cup granulated sugar and leave it over the medium flame for a few minutes until the sugar on the bottom has melted and is transparent. Raise the flame and stir the sugar with a wooden spoon until it turns a deep brown and starts to broth up. Be careful not to let it burn. Pour this caramel into the flan mold and turn the mold around quickly to evenly coat the sides, coating the bottom and halfway up the sides.

• Let the caramel cool before you add the flan mixture
• Always cover the mold with a lid. It keeps a hard skin from forming.
• Always set the mold in a water bath of hot water that comes about halfway up the side of the mold.
• Always set the mold on the lowest shelf in the oven.
• To test if the flan is cooked, insert the blade of a knife of a skewer well into the flan. It should come out clean. Take care not to pierce the flan at the bottom of the mold.
• Always serve flan at room temperature.
• It’s delicate, so take care when unmolding it. To unmold, place it in warm water for about 5 minutes. Don’t attempt to loosen it out of the mold with a knife.
• Unmold the flan into a dish with a little bit of depth so you don’t lose any of the caramel.

Have ready: A flan mold coated with caramel. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.

1 quart milk
½ cup granulated sugar
A vanilla bean or a stick of cinnamon
A pinch of salt
4 whole eggs
6 egg yolks
A fine cheese cloth or strainer
A water bath

In a saucepan heat the milk, add the sugar vanilla bean or cinnamon and salt and let it simmer briskly for about 15 minutes. The milk should be reduced by about ½ cup. Set it aside to cool.

Beat the eggs and egg yolk together well then add them to the cooled milk and stir well. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the coated mold. Remove the vanilla bean.

Cover the mold and set it in a water bath on the lowest shelf in the oven. Cook the flan for 2 hours and test to see if it’s done. When done, set it aside to cool.

Serves 6