This recipe is the product of a lot of experimentation. I found some recipes for flan to make in the pressure cooker and they were not what I wanted. First of all, I live in Spain and speak Spanish at home, so for me a flan is a flan and everything else is pudding or custard. Second of all, I know what a real flan is supposed to taste like because of “first of all.” I certainly do not protest against this free, open, global world that reinterprets things and reshapes them. I just want a good old flan the way I think it’s supposed to be, as do most of the people who live in my neighborhood. I want the kind you can get in Spain at a cafeteria. I also want it to be convenient to make at home. Making flan the slow way with a hot water bath is a bit tedious.
Making flan in the pressure cooker takes about 40 minutes total, from start to finish, or an hour if you’re multitasking in the kitchen or are especially slow at doing things. It’s totally not rocket science.
For equipment you need: a pressure cooker and a steaming rack that can support ramekins. Also, six 3-inch ramekins will also be necessary. Here’s the recipe:
3 eggs, medium or large are fine
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup white sugar
zest of one lemon (or half a lemon if you don’t want too much lemon flavor)
1 tsp vanilla
liquid caramel (get the store-bought kind in a squeeze bottle unless you want this to take an hour and 40 minutes)
Squeeze a layer of caramel in the bottom of the ramekins, enough to coat the bottom. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually whisk in the sugar, milk, cream, and vanilla. Over the mixture, grate the lemon zest and whisk that in. Ladle mixture into six ramekins that have the bottoms covered with caramel. Cover each ramekin tightly with aluminum foil. Add two cups of water to the pressure cooker. Insert rack. Place as many ramekins on the rack that will fit into the pressure cooker. Cover the pressure cooker with its lid and cook on high pressure for 9 minutes. When finished, allow the pressure to reduce on its own until no more pressure remains in the cooker. Repeat for remaining ramekins. Allow the flans to cool completely. When cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. To serve: with a knife, separate the edges of the flan from the wall of the ramekin all the way around; cover with a saucer and turn upside-down; if necessary, give the flan a few whacks and it should plop onto the plate.
Note: It is especially convenient to do this in an electric pressure cooker because it times itself, beeps when it’s finished, etc. However, if you have a traditional one to use on the stove, you can still do this, you just have to use a timer.