Pudim de Leite Condensado / Brazilian Caramel Flan

'Pudim de leite condensado' is a custard desert very popular in Brazil. This type of custard is actually very popular throughout the world and the recipes are very similar. The use of condensed milk in the recipe though is predominant in Brazil and Venezuela.

In my opinion there are two tricky parts of this desert. One is not to burn the caramel. The other is not to overcook the pudim. 

In Brazil Pudim de Leite is usually made in a ring pan, the one with a whole in the middle. Actually in Brazil there are ring pans specifically designed to make pudim, which differ from the ones used to make bundt cake. The ones for cake have a rounded bottom and the ones for pudim have a flat bottom. But this does not make a difference in the cooking of the pudim. You can definitely use a regular ring cake pan for your pudim.

I like to use ramekins or individual molds to make pudim as I think they look cuter, especially when you plate them. I have also seen pudim made in round cake pans or in rectangular shape pans. For each pan used you have to be careful with the cooking time. Overcooked pudim will be hard and at times watery. The right consistency is smooth, creamy while at the same time holding its shape.

what you need:

for the Caramel
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

for the Flan
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • equal volume of full cream milk (use the can to measure)
  • 3 eggs

Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

what to do:

Preheat the oven at 350 F
Butter the inside of 6 ramekins

Make the caramel

Put water, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and stir.

Cover the pan and put it over medium heat.

The mixture will start boiling quickly. Let it boil for 5 minutes with the lid on. DO NOT stir the caramel.

Take off the lid.

Watch until the caramel turns into a 'light' golden color. This will happen quite fast so be alert.

Give the pan a light shake.

Divide the caramel among the ramekins.

Turn the ramekins around so the caramel sticks to the sides.

Set the ramekins aside and prepare the flan mix.

Make the Flan

Put the condensed milk, milk and eggs in a blender.
Blend until all ingredients mix, which is very quick, less than a minute!

Let the bubbles subside a little.

Pour the mix into the ramekins.
If the ramekins are 6oz fill them above the middle line. If they are 3.5 oz like the one in the picture then fill them to the top.

Place the ramekins in a roasting pan.
Put about 1 inch of hot water in the the roasting pan so it makes a 'bain-marie' for the flans as they cook.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. The top will turn into a golden color. 

Let it cool for about 30 minutes

While the pudim is still warm loosen the edges with a knife. This will make it easier to remove the pudins from the ramekins later when you serve them.
Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator.

To serve, carefully turn pudim over a plate.
If the pudim got stuck in the ramekin again, put it in a hot water bath for 1 minute. Don't let water get inside the ramekin.

Bon appetit!

Note: You can eat the pudim right after you remove it from the refrigerator however I like it room temperature so I can enjoy its smooth consistency better.

Bain-marie is a French term which in English is called water bath. 

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