Instant Pot Leche Flan is a quicker way to cook this Filipino creamy smooth custard with caramel syrup. Leche Flan is usually served during special occasions or holidays. Why, I have no clue since it is not that hard to make.
Due to my mom’s catering business, it was made every other week. It was a small business, catering to a 15 story building with a bank on the first floor both owned by her aunt. Offices were leased and one of my mom’s biggest clients were from the Veteran’s Administration (VA). She had a kitchen on the 2nd floor with a small eatery and a dessert stand on the first floor. Most food were delivered on big rolling trays. It was close to Roxas Blvd. and neighboring hotel employees discovered her business and was a constant customers too.
Anyway, like I said previously I don’t see anything hard about making Leche Flan. I believe in the old days, it was the process of cooking that was tedious. In fact, my mom had many small commercialized simulated ovens that uses coals. She had a huge up and down oven that were used to bake cakes but all the Filipino desserts were cooked in these simulated ovens that were situated in her outside kitchen.
The whole length of our house on one side was her kitchen. She had a clean, dirty and outside kitchen. Most food were cooked in the dirty and outside kitchen. Why it was called “dirty kitchen” maybe because everything was done there. All kitchen had a huge sink. My mom opted to have everything done at home so she can be around us after school. I can tell my dad would have never agreed with her operating a catering business if she was gone all the time.
The simulated ovens looked like a big toaster oven with coals underneath. I remember them making leche flan with 2 llaneras on a water bath, a total of 4 llaneras cooking at the same time. A big cassava cake tray will fit the oven and if I remember it right, there was a pull out tray on top for coals too. So, I believe this was the reason why leche flan was only served on special occasions. During our grandmas time, I don’t thing there were any ovens yet.
Believe me, if Leche Flan is hard to make, I don’t think you will find this in my post. For one, I can only have a bite or two due to its sweetness. Some leche flans I’ve had from gatherings tasted too sweet for my taste, it seems like they poured 2 cans of condensed milk into it.
2 Ways I Prepare Leche Flan
- If I’m making only a dozen eggs then I do it by hand.
- If I’m preparing 2 or more dozen eggs, then I use my blender. After blending all the ingredients, I use a sieve to get rid of some solids and bubbles.
Note: When you crack an egg, aside from the loose egg white and there might be a solid egg white attached to the yolk, I try to remove that with a spoon before blending all the ingredients.
How to Cook Instant Pot Leche Flan
The more I use my Instant Pot, the more I appreciate it. It amazes me with all the stuff it can cook for a short period of time. Who would have thought that you can cook Leche Flan in a pressure cooker or multi-cooker. If you don’t have one, maybe with this post you will be convinced to get one.
- First, make the caramel syrup. Evenly spread sugar in the llanera (pan). Place pan with sugar on stove top at low temperature. After a while, it will start to melt and caramelize. Gently tilt pan from side to side to spread caramel. Once sugar is fully caramelize, remove from heat to cool and harden. Note: Some people prefer a burnt caramel while others like it light.
- To add more flavor to my leche flan I love using the extract from lime zest or it’s leaves. I have a Thai lime tree and I can conveniently pick the leaves whenever I need it. You can use vanilla for flavoring but I prefer lime. Add about 2 tablespoons water to leaves or lime zest, pound it in a mortar and strain the juice.
- Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Place the egg yolks in a big bowl. Gently stir and break egg yolks until smooth.
- Add milk, condensed milk and lime extract in the bowl, stirring gently until well blended. When stirring avoid having bubbles, if you do, strain mixture with a sieve before pouring mixture into the molds.
- Transfer mixture to 3 molds. Gently pour mixture to avoid air bubbles.
- I have a 6 quarts instant pot and I can only fit one pan on a trivet. Pour 1 ½ cups water in inner pot, then lower your trivet in the inner pot.
- Close lid and set to PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 14 minutes.
- Do the toothpick test to check for doneness. Poke flan at the center but make sure not to poke all the way or else you will end up with a needle like hole in the middle of flan. So don’t poke it all the way. If leche flan not fully cooked, repeat pressure cook and guesstimate the time. I would set the time in increments of 5 minutes so it doesn’t overcook. If done, wait for Natural Pressure Release. Then open pot and lift the trivet.
- Leave leche flan in room temperature to cool.
- Place in fridge for at least 8 hours or better yet overnight. I do it overnight.
- When ready to transfer flan on a serving plate, use a knife around it’s edges to detach flan from mold. Slowly and carefully move knife around its edges.
- Place your plate above mold and flip quickly to transfer flan. Slowly lift mold and caramel syrup will start to spread.
- The finish flan is about an inch and half tall.
If you have read my previous desserts post, I reduce sugar in my recipes. Yes, I am reducing sweetness in my leche flan mixture instead I add more caramel syrup. At least, anyone who dislike a very sweet dessert has a choice of adding more caramel syrup instead.
All my instant pot recipes are very detailed to help people who are new to using this multi-cooker. If this is your first time to use your instant pot, please read the manual first to familiarize yourself with all the instant pot features. For your safety, please read it. Also, my cooking instructions does not replace the instant pot manual.
Instant Pot Leche Flan
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 (12 fl. oz) can evaporated milk
- 3/4 (14 oz) can condensed milk (if you prefer sweeter add the whole can)
- 1 teaspoon lime extract (extract from leaves or zest)
- 12 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- In 3 llanera (pans), evenly spread 4 tablespoons of sugar on each pan. Place on stove at low temperate. Once it starts melting and caramelize, tilt pan from side to side to spread caramel and dissolve the remaining sugar. Depending on your preference, remove from heat once your desired caramel color is achieved. Some people prefer burnt caramel, so it’s your call at this point. Leave pans on the counter to cool and harden. Set aside.
- Add lime zest or leaves with 2 teaspoons water in a mortar. Pound until juice is extracted. Set aside.
- In a big bowl, place egg yolks. If yolk has white solid stuff attached to it, remove with a spoon. Gently break the yolk with a spatula or an egg beater and stir yolk in one direction until smooth.
- Add milk, condensed milk and lime extract. Gently stir in one direction until well blended and smooth.
- Once caramel in pans harden, slowly pour egg yolk mixture in each pan avoiding air bubbles. To be exact, it is 1 ¼ cups egg yolk mixture on each pan.
- Cover each pan with aluminum foil.
- Use the trivet that came with your instant pot. I have a 6 quart instant pot and I can only fit 1 pan.
- Add 1 ½ cups water in inner pot. Place pan on trivet and lower it in the inner pot.
- Place the condensation collector behind the cooker before you start cooking.
- Press “PRESSURE COOK”. Set to HIGH PRESSURE and set time to 14 minutes. Note: If you are familiar with your instant pot, you can skip to #17.
- After a few minutes, the FLOAT VALVE will pop-up, an indication that the instant pot is pressurize and the countdown begins.
- Once cooking time is done, "PRESSURE COOK" program will no longer be lit. The display will show the elasped time. Example: L000
- Press "CANCEL".
- Wait when the FLOAT VALVE goes down refered to as Natural Pressure Release before opening the lid. Note: You can also do a quick pressure release but be very careful when doing this. Refer to the manual for detailed instructions.
- Turn the steam release handle to "VENTING".
- Open lid. Make sure your leche flan is covered with foil. When you open the lid, water droplets will fall inside the pot.
- Remove flan and leave it at the counter to cool. Place it in the fridge for 8 hours or better yet overnight.
- When ready to transfer to serving platter, use a knife and slowly move the knife around between the flan and pan.
- Place serving platter on top of pan and flip quickly.
- Slowly remove pan. Let all the caramel syrup drop in the platter.
- Serve and enjoy!
- While cooling caramelize sugar in pan, you might hear some cracking noise. It is normal and nothing to worry about.
- Use a sieve, if you like to strain the mixture before pouring in pan. If I’m only making 1 dozen egg yolks, I don’t strain it anymore. I slowly stir the mixture to prevent air bubbles. If I’m making 2 or more dozen egg yolks, I use my blender and strain the mixture to get rid of solids and air bubbles.