One of the major challenges in baking is removing the item from the pan. Among the most difficult items to deal with is flan.
Also known as flan de Leche, a flan is a form of cooked custard. It is a very popular sweet dish that is eaten all over the world.
It is also one of the simplest recipes to follow and has a no-bake process. This means that even if you do not have an oven, you can still make some delicious pan.
However, the main challenge with this delicate dish comes in serving it. When it is in the pan, flan tends to create a seal as it cools. This makes it difficult to remove it from the pan.
If care is not taken when removing it from the pan, the entire flan can break apart.
Unlike cakes, the structural integrity of flans is pretty weak. This is why you need to learn how to remove flan from a pan.
Luckily, we are here to help you out with this. The following is a short guide on how you can remove the flan from the pan without breaking it:
How to Remove Flan from a Pan (Tap, Shake, and Flip method)
To start off, one of the simplest techniques to remove the flan from a pan is to use a shake and flip method. This means that you give the ramekin or the pan a good shake to loosen up the custard seal. Then, all you have to do is place a plate on top.
Now, flip the pan and the loosened flan will simply slide right out of the pan. Many people also like to use springform pans.
These pans have a spring on the side, which allows the pan to simply be loosened and opened up. However, springform pans are not the easiest to use with flan.
When the flan is still being cooked, these pans cannot hold the thin liquid. There is a higher chance of leaks and they work best with a thick batter.
Nonetheless, the tap, shake, and flip method is one of the most fail-safe and fool-proof ways to remove any flan from any pan.
Other Things to Keep in Mind When Removing Flan from a Pan
Despite the sheer simplicity of the process, if you are still not having any luck, then it is obvious that you may be doing something wrong here.
Since the flan is such a delicate dish, even the slightest mistake will lead to disaster.
To ensure that your flan is removed without any flaws or issues, you need to focus on the following aspects:
Let the Flan Set Properly
Before you attempt to remove the flan from the pan, make sure that it has had ample amount to set. It is a good idea to let the flan chill overnight in your refrigerator.
Unless you have a blast chiller, you will not be able to have it set in a few hours.
Chilling is a major process that makes the flan firmer and prevents it from falling apart. Proper chilling will ensure that when it is unmolded, it will retain the shape of the container.
Especially, when you are using fancy, patterned molds, this ensures that your flan will look decorative and beautiful.
This is why you need to make sure that you give it a lot of time to set. Avoid putting the flan into the freezer because it will crystalize and freeze and it will ruin the texture.
Just make sure that if you are making flan that you allow for the setting time as well. At least 12 to 24 hours are needed to make sure that your flan has set.
Allow it to Hit Room Temperature
Once your flan has set and you have taken it out of the fridge, do not start to remove it from the pan right away. Instead, allow it to come up to room temperature.
It will take anywhere from around 10 to 12 minutes for this to happen.
If you are in a hurry, take a shallow pan and fill it with some hot water. Now, place the pan containing the flan into this.
Make sure there is only enough hot water to dip the bottom of the ramekin. Leave the pan in the water for a maximum of 3 seconds.
This allows the caramel sauce of the flan to thaw, which will also loosen the flan. It will make it easier for you to remove the flan.
Remember not to overdo the thawing process. otherwise; the flan may start to lose its shape.
Use a Knife to Break the Seal
Now that the flan has started to thaw, you need to make sure to break the seal. As previously mentioned, flan creates a seal when it is cooked.
What this means is that the sides expand to completely remove any space between the sides of the pan.
This compression creates a seal, which means that even if you flip the pan, the flan will not come out easily.
Flipping the pan without breaking the seal will create more tension and pressure and there is a higher chance that the flan will break in the process as well.
Due to this factor, make sure to break the seal beforehand. To do this, you can easily use a knife or even a plastic spatula and trace it around the inner edges of the pan.
Be very careful as a slip of the hand can mean that you end up breaking the flan prematurely.
Thump the Pan to Loosen the Flan
Once the seal has broken properly, take the pan and gently pat its sides against your hand.
This allows you to shake the flan loose from the edges. It also means that if the seal was not broken properly, you can dislodge it with this action.
Remember to not be overzealous in this action. Too much shaking and thumping can break the flan. Never use another utensil or even a hard surface to thump the pan with.
Too much movement can also be bad and can not only loosen the flan but also cause it to experience a lot of surface tension.
This means that even if it was properly set, it may break when you flip it over.
Be as gentle as possible and thump it once in a complete circle. After this, set the pan down and find the proper plate or dish that you want to take the flan out on.
Use the Upside-Down Plate Method
After you have loosened the flan appropriately, it is best to use the upside-down plate method to flip the flan properly.
For this, all you have to do is set the plate on top of the pan and then flip it so that the plate is at the bottom and the pan is at the top.
Hold the plate and the pan firmly when you are flipping it. This prevents any caramel from seeping out and makes sure that the flan does not experience too much tension. Now, grab the pan and very gently, start to pull it upwards.
You should start to feel the flan sliding out of the pan. The caramel sauce should also have been melted properly by this time.
The result of these steps should be a properly formed flan with caramel sauce on top of it.
Even though the steps may seem time-consuming at the start, if you have enough practice, you will learn how to remove flan from a pan without any difficulties!
Also read: How to Get Hard Candy Out Of Pan
Focusing on the Flan
Despite the fact that the steps mentioned above could help ensure that you get a flawless flan out of the pan every single time, there may be times when your flan is just collapsing.
In this case, it is less to do with your removal technique and more to do with the consistency and the cooking method of the flan.
The following are a few things that you should do when making flan to make it easier to remove it from the pan or mold:
Look at the Consistency
When you are cooking the flan, pay close attention to the consistency of the liquid. It is better if the flan is more towards the thicker side instead of the watery side.
A good way to know the right consistency is to use a wooden spoon and coat the back.
If the flan is watery, it will create a thin film and drip off the spoon. However, if it is medium to a thick consistency, it will coat the back of the spoon with a thicker film. Be very careful not to overcook the flan.
Since it contains eggs and milk, overcooked flan can take on a rubbery texture when it is cooled off, which can be unpleasant to eat.
The right flan consistency is silky, smooth, and easy to eat. Moreover, the consistency will also affect how well the flan sets. The thinner the flan is, the longer time it will take to set.
Always Add the Caramel Sauce First
Before you add the flan to the pot, always make sure to add the caramel sauce first. The sauce is added not just for the flavor, but also to make it easier to remove flan from the pan or ramekin.
When added to the bottom of the pan, it prevents the flan from creating a seal.
Without it, the flan will stick to the bottom and you will be unable to remove it properly. Since caramel is easily affected by temperatures, it sets easily and melts first, too.
When you bring the flan up to room temperature, the caramel makes sure that the flan comes out easily.
It also creates a nice visual effect on the flan that adds to the overall appeal of this sweet dish. With the help of these tips and tricks, you can easily learn how to remove flan from a pan without breaking it!
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