This Meyer Lemon Flan recipe is as smooth as velvet. With the fresh flavor of lemon in every rich and creamy bite, this is the perfect dessert to finish a meal.
When I create new recipes, it’s often with my mom in mind. It’s not a conscious decision, it just happens that way. Many of my ideas stem from her cooking, but many are also from things I remember her saying about food. Let’s not forget how she always ordered “double the onions.”
Outside of chocolate, which was her strong number one, my mom loved flan and lemon desserts. Enter: Meyer Lemon Flan Recipe.
Meyer lemons are in season right now! (If you can't get them where you live, regular lemons will work too.)
Before I share my recipe I have to tell you exactly how my mom would order flan in a restaurant. Exactly.
My mom: “I would like the flan, but I have a question first.”
Waiter/waitress: With hesitation, “okay . . .”
My mom: “Is it smooth?”
Waiter/waitress: “Well . . . I think it’s smooth.”
My mom: “I mean like velvet smooth?
Waiter/waitress: Looking nervous and maybe a little annoyed: “I believe it’s quite smooth.”
My mom: “If it’s at all like sand on the beach, I don’t want it. I understand if it is, but I only want it if it’s as smooth as velvet.”
I think nine times out of ten, she was pleased.
What is flan?
- Flan, also called Crème Caramel, is a custard dessert with a layer of caramel sauce on top.
- Flan is found in recipes as far back as ancient Rome. The Romans had an abundance of eggs, and consulting the Greeks' knowledge of of cooking, they developed new recipes, one of which was a custard-like, savory concoction known as flan.
- This made its way to Spain where it became a sweet custard generally made with caramelized sugar.
- It’s thought that Columbus bought the richness of flan to America, and now almost all of Central and South America love flan, and it has become especially popular in Mexico where it’s made in almost every kitchen.
How are Flan and Crème Brûlée different?
- Crème brûlée is also custard, but instead of the thin caramel layer, sugar is hardened on the top surface to form a crust.
The below photos will help you when you're making this recipe.
top: sugar, sugar after it has cooked for about 7 minutes | bottom: cooked sugar poured into cake pan
I love the way this Meyer Lemon Flan turned out, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! The texture is indeed as smooth as velvet, and I know my mom would have loved it.
A couple more of my favorite lemon desserts:
Meyer Lemon Flan Recipe
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1¼ cup low-fat or whole milk
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest
- ¼ cup Meyer lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- thin lemons slices for garnish, if desired
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Add the sugar to a medium-sized sauce pot, and place it over medium-high heat. Watch it carefully and do not stir. Once the sugar begins to melt and becomes an amber color, swirl the pot every so often, gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes, and it will be a medium amber color at this point. Immediately pour in a 9 x 2-inch cake pan (or pie dish, or special flan pan) and quickly swirl it around to coat the bottom. The goal is to cover the entire bottom, but don’t worry if it doesn’t quite make its way to the edges, as it will melt again in the oven.
- Add the milk, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla to a blender. Blend until it’s smooth, about 5 seconds. (You can also use an electric mixer and a mixing bowl to do this.)
- Place the prepared pan in a large roasting or baking pan. Pour the egg mixture into the cake pan, over the caramel coating. Add enough hot water to the roasting/baking pan, to come halfway up sides of the cake pan. (This is called a water bath, and adds moisture to the oven, which keeps the flan from becoming rubbery or cracking.)
- Loosely cover the cake pan with foil, and bake flan in the preheated 350°F oven in the water bath until it no longer jiggles, 50 to 60 minutes. Carefully remove the cake pan from the water bath and place it on a cooling rack. Let it cool there for about 90 minutes. Then place it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, and ideally overnight.
- Run a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen it. Place a flat platter, that’s larger than the cake pan upside down on top. Then holding the two together, invert the flan onto the platter.
- Add lemon slices if desired and serve!
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So silky and tender! And who could resist the caramel aroma? I certainly can't!
David @ Spiced
I would hate to be the one waiter/waitress out of ten when your Mom wasn't satisfied! Haha! So I love flan, but I've always been too afraid to make it at home. I've heard that it can be really tricky. This recipe looks manageable enough though...I think I can do it! Thanks so much for sharing this one...it looks delicious! 🙂
It's actually easy to make David -- especially for you, I'm sure. My whole family loves flan. Enjoy and thanks for visiting, as always. 🙂
Dawn - Girl Heart Food
Love lemon too and this one definitely does look super smooth, Valentina! What a lovely treat, especially for Valentine's Day coming up. I would imagine this would be so good with an espresso! Can't wait to try 🙂
Oh now that's an idea . . espresso! Not only with it, but maybe an espresso flan. Thank you for that! And for visiting of course.
Beautiful dessert, beautiful photos !
Thanks so much! Enjoy! 🙂
Wow looks AMAZING! Loving the lemon slices on top!
Thanks so much, Lisa!
Wow that is so pretty, vibrant and lovely looking! Love the gorgeous color! Pinnng!
Thank so much Mary. Appreciate the pin. 🙂
I've ordered flan in a Mexican restaurant before, but never like this. I love the lemon! This would brighten up these dreary winter days we've been having.
Yes, that's one thing I love about citrus being it season in the winter -- it brightens things up. Thank so much!
That is the most gorgeous flan I've ever seen. Lemon sweetened desserts are my favorite too. Thank you!
Thank you! I appreciate it, and I hope you try it and love it. 🙂
Oh gosh, I love both Mayer lemons and flan! I'll be making this often 🙂
Hope you love it as much as me! 🙂 Thank you!
I am in love... two of my favorite things in one dessert! I am a lemon fanatic and flan... well let's just say it would be on my list for my last meal! Honestly, this one hits it right out of the park Valentina!! I love the story about your Mom - and I know she'd feel the same way as I do about this dessert!!
Awww, thank you so much Nancy. Flan is also one of my favorites too. I've even been have a slice in the mornings -- it's full of eggs, after all. 😉
susan | the wimpy vegetarian
This looks fantastic. I'm a huge fan of flan, and love that you added lemon to it. I would love to make it for a dinner this weekend! It would be perfect. I also love love love the Meyer Lemon Spaghetti with Thyme. I'm putting together a Citrus roundup for Parade, and would love to add both of these recipes for consideration to include. Please let me know if you would be ok with that!
Thanks so much, Susan! Yes of course, I'd love to have them included in the roundup. Much appreciated, and I hope you love the
Jeff the Chef
I love flan. I love chocolate, too. I think I would've gotten along well with your mom! No long ago, I encased a flan in chocolate cake, which makes me think your mom would've like me, too. Anyway, whenever I see flan on a menu, I always order it. It's just so comforting! Thanks for the recipe and for the inspiration.
My jaw dropped when I read that you "encased a flan in a chocolate cake!" That sounds amazing -- is that on your site? Please let me know if so. And yes, my mom would have thought that was a dreamy idea. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. 🙂
I don't blame that your mom ordered anything this way! I'm kind of like that with fries (don't serve me over-salted or cold fries).
I'm quite certain that your mom would have LOVED this flan, Valentina! <3 It looks absolutely gorgeous!
I'm so with you on the fries. There's almost no point if they're cold! Thanks for the kinds words for my mom. XO
Flan is one of my favorite desserts and I love my flan to be as smooth as velvet . Thanks for this great recipe.
Thank you Gerlinde! Hope you try it and thank you for the comment. 🙂
Coco in the Kitchen
Meyer lemons are my latest love. I finally got us a tree and it's fruiting!
This flan is perfection. Love your mom. What a character!
Thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂 So happy your tree is full of lemons! Yay! Enjoy! xo
Lemon desserts area personal favorite!.So much #citruslove in every slice of this gorgeous flan! (Mom stories are always welcome!)
#citruslove -- I love that, Deb. And I always love mom stories too. 🙂
John / Kitchen Riffs
Your mom sounds like she was a neat lady. Double the onions is my motto, too! And I love flan, so I'd love this recipe. Bet it's smooth as silk! Really excellent post -- thanks.
Thanks so much, John. I so appreciate it. 🙂
This looks so good and I'm sure it beats any flan I've had. Definitely going to give a try next weekend!
Thanks James. I hope you like it -- I made a chocolate one yesterday for guests and it was a hit too. 🙂 I've been really into experimenting with flan and it's so much fun. 🙂
So many things to comment about in this recipe… First, I love the use of lemons… Meyer lemons are so plentiful at this time of year and I love finding new recipes to use them! Second, this may sound silly, but I might just like to make the custard without the caramel! I’m a huge lemon fan, and I think I would love lemon custard. (Especially minutes velvety smooth.) Third, I can’t even imagine flan having a texture like sand on the beach. Ick. I’m with your mother! Finally, I love that we have the same “heart and arrow” measuring spoons! Happy Valentines Day!
Hi David. I LOVE everything about your comments. Thank you! I always notice your unique measuring spoons -- I think we've discussed that we both like shopping at Anthropologis. 🙂 I don't think the custard without the caramel is silly at all. On the contrary, I would love it. Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day to you and Mark! XOXO
Am making it now god Valentine’s Day for the wife. She loves flan and lemon desserts so hoping it’s a hit. If I have time I’ll candy some lemon slices to garnish it.
Hi Mark, I hope your wife loves it! And you, too. Happy Valentine's Day! ❤️ Thanks for checking out my site and trying the recipe. 🙂 ~Valentina
Anything lemon is my favorite. Myer lemons makes it better but they are very hard to find here.
Hi Janet. I love lemon too! There are some ordering online options like this one. 🙂 ~Valentina