Are you familiar with labneh (aka labne, labna)? a thick and tangy Middle Eastern strained yogurt. It makes a great substitution for cream cheese. This dessert is a lot of people’s favorite. The delicious custard, which has its origins in Spain, naturally made its way to Puerto Rico, where it is often combined with cream cheese for the perfect balance of flavors
This dessert is so very reflective of the fusions of culture that make gastronomy so rich. And the flavors are there to show for it.
Labneh Flan (flan de labneh)
- Bundt pan, Pie pan, or Loaf pan
- Larger cooking vessel for water bath
- Dish towel (optional)
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 8 oz labneh full fat
- 6 eggs whole
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk 14 oz
- 1 cup heavy cream (aka whipping cream)
- 1 cup whole milk`
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch fine salt
- Preheat Oven to 350° F
For the Caramel
- Pour sugar in a shallow pan over med-high heat. After a couple of minutes, the sugar will begin to liquify.
- Continue to heat, it will begin to darken. Allow it to reach a dark amber colour (as it will have a more complex flavour that way). The lighter the caramel, the sweeter it will be, the darker, the more bitter or toffee-like. So remove it once it starts to get foamy.
- Once it reaches desired shade, quickly pour into baking vessel and swirl around to coat bottom and a bit of the sides of pan.
For the Custard
- Start by adding labneh and whisking until it is light and smooth.
- Next, add eggs and whisk.
- Add condensed milk and mix well until fully incorporated.
- Then add remaining milks, vanilla and salt. Mix gently until combined, so as to create as few bubbles as possible.
- Pour custard mixture through a sieve into your flan pan and onto the caramel. The sieve will catch any chunks and burst any bubbles in the mixture, ensuring a smooth flan.
- Place pan into your larger vessel to create a water bath.
- You can also place a dish towel under the flan pan to provide additional insulation (optional).
- Place larger vessel onto a rack in the middle of the oven and carefully pour your hottest tap water into the larger pan to surround your flan. This will ensure that the custard cooks gently and will not curdle or get rubbery, do NOT skip this step!
- Bake for approximately an hour. It will be done when it is mostly set and is not wet to the touch, but is still jiggly. It will continue to set as it cools. Remove from oven and let cool in the water bath. Once at room temperature cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge overnight (or at least for 8 hours).
- Run a sharp knife along the edges to loosen flan and turn out onto a plate with enough of a rim to hold the caramel that will pour out. Enjoy!