Indulge with this melt-in-your-mouth vegan flan recipe.
On this episode of EATKINDLY With Me, Amanda Castillo whips up a staple from her household growing up: her mom’s flan—only this recipe features a vegan twist.
You can even make this vegan dessert for Cinco de Mayo. “Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s independence day,” Castillo explains. “Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of Mexico over the French at the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862.”
She continues: “This whole battle didn’t win the whole war against the French. But it really boosted morale when needed most and became a symbolic victory to the Mexican government.”
Castillo goes on to explain that what made the battle so special was that the French outnumbered Mexican three to one. The French were also better equipped and were considered one of the most powerful armies at the time. “Yet Mexico came out victorious,” she says.
She adds there are some important things to remember when celebrating Cinco de Mayo, especially if you are not Mexican. “Acknowledge the history behind the holiday and to support authentic Mexican restaurants and businesses,” she says.
Flan is an iconic dessert in Mexico. But, Castillo explains, making her mother’s homemade flan recipe vegan wasn’t exactly easy.
“That’s mainly because flan is mostly eggs and dairy,” she says. Her mother’s recipe features two types of dairy-based milk: evaporated and condensed. Castillo swapped these out for sweetened oat milk for extra creaminess and coconut milk for firmness. She also uses agar agar powder, a vegan gelatin substitute. “By using this, it’ll ensure that our flan actually sets properly,” she explains.
In order to make this vegan flan recipe, you will also need two ramekins, a small, glazed bowl.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups oat milk, sweetened
- 3/4 cups full fat coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon agar agar powder
For the caramel, add sugar to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Let the sugar dissolve while stirring frequently. Once all the sugar has melted and it turns to a golden color, remove from heat. Make sure to keep an eye on your caramel! If it gets too dark, your caramel will taste slightly burnt.
Pour caramel into ramekins or a large deep baking dish. Gently li� and tilt immediately to coat the entire bottom. Set aside.
If your canned coconut milk is separated, add it to a blender and mix well until combined. If it’s not separated, skip this step.
For the custard, add oat milk, coconut milk, agave, cornstarch, agar powder, and vanilla extract to a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil while stirring frequently with a whisk. As soon as it starts boiling, turn the heat to low and let simmer for 2 minutes to activate the agar, then remove from heat.
Cover the saucepan with a lid and let cool for 15 minutes before pouring into the ramekins or dish with caramel. I highly recommend this step because if you pour it immediately, the flan will not have as great of a texture.
Pour the custard into the ramekins or dish and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
To unmold the flan, place the bottom of the ramekin or dish in a container with hot water for 4 minutes. This will ensure your caramel melts beautifully before serving.
Use a small knife to carefully loosen the edges of the flan. Place a plate over the ramekin or dish, and flip to turn the flan over. The caramel will be on top and cover the custard. Enjoy!
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