Craving a little something creamy and sweet? This delectable recipe for Crock-Pot Caramel Flan will surely fit the bill. Creamy vanilla custard is cooked inside ramekins with a homemade caramel sauce for a sweet slow cooker dessert!
Slow Cooker Caramel Flan
I have always been a fan of flan. That sweet vanilla custard that is baked with this dreamy and sweet caramel sauce. Oh my heavens. I remember making flan only one other time in my life before and it was in home economics class in high school. I remember taking that first bite of the creamy custard. And that sweet caramel. Oh my heavens.
As I was looking through the site a couple weeks ago I noticed that we had not posted a dessert recipe in quite a while and I set my mind on remedying that situation pronto.
So I went to my Evernote notes where I keep a big extensive list of Crock-Pot recipe ideas. And went looking for a delicious dessert recipe to cook up and share with you all and when I spotted flan I knew this was the one I wanted to do because I wanted to EAT some flan!
This recipe is rather easy, the hardest part is making the caramel sauce, and it is not that the caramel sauce is HARD to make per se, it is more that it takes a little time and patience for the sugar to caramelize.
And then…there is the swirling of caramel in your ramekins…a job that must be done carefully because the caramel is HOT and you will cry if you get even just one little drop on your finger.
Don’t ask me how I know…
It hurt…big time! I had to immediately plunge my thumb into cold dish water in the kitchen sink.
Don’t judge me on why I had a sink of cold dish water please…it was one of those days!
But other than the caramel sauce bit the custard itself is quite easy to whip together. Just some eggs, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, vanilla and salt. Easy.
I decided to cook my ramekins of flan in my 3.5 quart casserole crock-pot just because I knew that the open surface area was going to be perfect for water bath cooking these custards. But I did I trial run in my 6-quart oval crock-pot too with the ramekins and 4 of them fit just fine. I actually could have probably fit 6 ramekins in the casserole crock-pot but, because I knew that most of our readers don’t have a casserole crock-pot (yet, you really should get one!) I wanted to keep this recipe at 4 servings which means 4 ramekins.
And if you don’t have ramekins, any heatproof mug will work too. If you have coffee cups that can be put in the microwave they should do just fine in this recipe. Although I do think traditional ramekins are a much prettier option.
Once you have your caramel made and swirled CAREFULLY in your ramekins you pour your custard in and place them in your slow cooker (you could also fill them with the custard when they are already in the slow cooker), add hot water (I just used hot tap water) around the ramekins to come up about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the ramekins, I put a couple paper towel over the top of the crock-pot before placing on the lid.
This just ensure that you do not get any water condensation that collects on the lid of the slow cooker dripping into your flans while they cook. You could also use a clean kitchen towel.
Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, turn the crock-pot off and let them set in the crock-pot for 1 hour.
You can serve the flan slightly warm or at room temperature. If you need to make these ahead of time, let them cool to room temperature, cover each flan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. You won’t be able to unmold the flans when they are cold, pop each one in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm them up, then run a butter knife around the sides of the custard and invert them onto a plate.
I like to serve my flan with some fresh berries. The fresh tartness offsets the caramel sweetness perfectly!
Crock-Pot Caramel Flan Recipe
- In a small sauce pan combine the 1 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook over medium high heat while stirring constantly until the sugar melts and turns a medium brown caramel color.
- Divide the caramel between 4 heat proof 4 oz. ramekins or cups and CAREFULLY swirl the hot caramel around the sides about 3/4 of the way up. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs until light lemon yellow color.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the egg mixture and whisk everything together until well combined.
- Pour custard mixture into caramel coated ramekins or cups and carefully place in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Carefully pour hot water into the slow cooker to create a water bath. The water should come up about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Being careful not to get any of the water in your custards.
- Place a couple of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel over the top of the slow cooker and cover it with the lid.
- Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
- Turn slow cooker off and let the flans cool for 1 hour in the turned off crock-pot.
- To unmold your flans run a butter knife around the sides of the ramekins or cups. Place a small dessert plate over the top and carefully flip the ramekins over onto the plate.
- Eat and enjoy!