Coconut custard Coconut custard

My most memorable leche flan experience was at a fiesta. The custard was made with duck eggs and coconut milk, according to the father of my husband’s officemate. It was something I always dreamed of doing at home but the few times that we were able to buy fresh duck eggs, my coconut leche flan did not turn out too well. I probably wouldn’t have made the attempt again anytime soon had not Kai e-mailed me about Lasang Pinoy 24: Loco over coco. It was a pleasant coincidence too that just a week before the e-mail hit my inbox, I did make coconut custard based on a recipe from a Vietnamese cookbook.

My first attempt though was not very successful. The custard had far too many bubbles and I couldn’t really make out the flavor of the coconut cream. I tried again today, tweaking the recipe by using more coconut cream than cow’s milk and radically changing everything I ever knew about leche flan and cooking custards in a baine marie. The result was amazing.

Almost every recipe I have come across where the use of a baine marie was included always specified that hot (some say boiling) water should be poured into the pan. Not one ever mentioned that during baking, the water should not be allowed to reach boiling point. I had to learn the hard way. The water should be hot but not boiling.

Secondly, the inclusion of egg whites (don’t most leche flan recipes specify egg yolks only?) does not mean that the custard will not be smooth and creamy.

That said, let me go to the recipe for this wonderful dessert. Coconut custard

Ingredients :

2 whole eggs (chicken or duck)
3/4 c. of coconut cream (the first extraction or kakang gata)
1/4 c. of fresh milk (the ready-to-drink kind)
4 heaping tablespoonfuls of white sugar
a few drops of pandan essence
a few drops of lemon essence
a tiny pinch of salt

For the caramel glaze:

3 tbsps. of brown sugar
2 tbsps. of water

In the pan (mold or ramekin) in which you intend to cook the custard, place the brown sugar and water. Melt the sugar and water (on the stove top or in the oven) over medium-low heat, without stirring, until the sugar is melted. Stir to blend, tilting the pan to coat the bottom evenly.

In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar.

In a small saucepan, heat the coconut cream and milk without bringing to a boil. Pour about half a cup of the milk mixture into the egg mixture and stir until blended. Pour in the rest of the cream mixture, pandan and lemon essences, and stir well. Pour the custard into the prepared pan. Use a fine strainer to get rid of large bubbles. Don’t worry if you still see tiny bubbles in the mixture. They will go away as the custard bakes.

Place the pan in a larger pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan until it reaches up to about half the height of the smaller pan. Place in a preheated 160oC oven and bake for 25 minutes. coconut-custard3

Cool the custard — chill, if there is time. Run a knife around the custard to loosen it, place a plate upside down over the pan then invert.


  1. Ebba Myra says

    I too have not had any success on making leche flan, and I tried the Mexican way (without Baine Marie), ok lumabas pero hindi ako satisfied. I will try to do it this time the way you have it posted. Thanks.

  2. Hazel says

    Hi Connie,

    You mentioned on this recipe pandan and lemon essence. Where should I put these essences? To the milk mixture or egg mixture? Should I put these two essences together in the mixture?

    Thanks so much for your yummy recipes.

    • says

      Hazel, sorry about that. Too excited to post. I edited the entry to specify where the pandan and lemon essences should go. :)

    • says

      Leah, actually, those are substitutes. The best way really is to use a pinch of lemon zest. For the pandan, you can add a leaf to the coconut cream and milk when you heat them together and leave it there for a few minutes to infuse.

      • hazel says

        I made this last Friday at medyo matagal ko siyang niluto kasi nung inangat ko siya after 25 minutes eh basa pa siya at ang texture di siya smooth katulad nung nasa picture. I was really disappointed with the appearance pero ang lasa masarap kahit medyo nagkulang sa essences. Buti na lang nag sample muna ako kasi anniv ng parents ko this coming Friday at isa ito sa iluluto ko. Can you help me with pointers kasi sobrang tagal ko talaga siyang niluto as in 45 minutes. Lahat ng lulutuin ko kasi kinuha ko dito sa site kasi nasubukan ko na rin ang ibang mga recipes dito at super yummy talaga.

      • Lori says

        Ms. Connie, natakam naman ako sa leche flan nyo! Ang sarap tingnan, malamang masarap talaga. Di pa ako nakatikim ng leche flan na ganito sa amin – kakaiba nga since we Bicolanos love to cook with coconut milk. Try ko nga rin gawin. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

  3. says

    This is my first time to encounter leche flan with gata – Pinoy na Pinoy, you’ve turned something European into something very Asian and definitely very ours. Will definitely make some soon, I can just imagine the taste. Yummmm. Healthier, too, I suppose!

    Thanks for this inspired creation, and thanks for a great entry to LP!

    • Grace A says

      i’ve tried doing leche flan before but couldn’t find the right measurement for the caramel glaze :) tried the one you posted and it’s perfect!!!

      thanks so much for posting this recipe :D