While spending a day in Old San Juan during our last Carnival Cruise, we visited the famous Barrachina Restaurant. Not only is it the birthplace of the pina colada, but they also make a host of other Puerto Rican treats including tostones, sweet plantains, croquets, and coconut flan.
Dreaming of that creamy coconut flan, I texted my mom to see if she’d share her recipe as she used to make it when I was a kid. To my surprise, she texted me back a photo of some ready-made store bought flan. Hilarious. Well, I guess that’s a time saver, but I was hoping for something homemade.
I adapted this recipe below from one that’s included on the back of a label for sweetened condensed milk. Their recipe was just for regular caramel flan, so in order to replicate the coconut flavor I experienced in Puerto Rico, I swapped the water for coconut milk, left out the vanilla, and added shredded coconut. It turned out beautifully!
You can make flan in individual custard cups, or if you want to make a large one like I have pictured, look for a stainless steel flan pan at your local grocer or kitchen supply store. They’re just the right size and shape and typically come with a lid that makes it easy to store in the refrigerator when cooling. You can also use a round cake pan.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut (for garnish)
- pinch of salt
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Add sugar to a medium saucepan and cook over low-medium heat, stirring continuously to keep it from burning and sticking to the pan. When it’s done (about 10 minutes), it will be melted and caramel-colored.
- Carefully pour melted sugar into flan pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, and salt until well blended.
- Pour into flan pan, and then set flan pan into larger baking pan. Fill larger pan with 1 inch of hot tap water.
- Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- While flan is baking, add shredded coconut to a dry skillet and cook on medium heat until the edges are toasted and starting to brown. Set aside as garnish.
- Carefully remove from the oven and let it cool.
- Chill for a few hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the flan to loosen it from the sides. Invert the pan onto a serving plate. Garnish with toasted coconut and serve.
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