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3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 egg yolks
4 large eggs
1 (14 ounce) can condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of rum or brandy (optional)

1 – Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 – Place either 6 – 3/4 cup ramekins or 1 large glass or ceramic baking dish ( a cake pan would work too) inside a deep baking pan. We are making a water bath so, fill the deep pan with water just under halfway up the sides of the ramekins or baking dish.

3 – Remove the dish/ramekins you will be pouring the flan into and set aside. Place the pan with the waterbath (water pan only) in the oven to warm while you make the flan.

4 – To make the caramel, place the sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pan, cook sugar over low heat, swirling the pan frequently. Once the sugar has dissolved increase the heat to medium-high and cook without stirring until the syrup turns golden brown in color. You can use a wet pastry brush along the sides of the pan to keep the sugar from sticking.

5 – Quickly pour the finished caramel into the ramekins or cake dish.

6 –  Swirl the caramel until the bottom of the baking dish or ramekins are covered evenly.

7 – Using a stand mixer, hand mixer or food processor blend all other ingredients until smooth. Carefully, pour the custard mixture into the baking dish/ramekins.

8 – Open the oven where you have placed the water bath and then place the small pan with the caramel inside the large water bath pan.

9 – Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. When finished the top of the flan should be golden brown and a knife or toothpick inserted should come out clean.

10 – Remove from oven and cool. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 3 hours or overnight. This can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.

11 – To serve, run a knife along the edge of the pan, invert the flan’s baking dish onto a serving plate and slice. Ramekins are wonderful, because they give individual servings and no slicing is necessary.

12 – Enjoy!