By Francis J. Kelly
With great delight I’ll give the instruction
To fix a sweet dish in a round pie pan.
A Philippine gastronomic production--
Mama Eufemia’s own leche flan.
You first should cook the caramel syrup
To spread so smooth in your round pie pan
Sugar one half cup and water one fourth cup
You’ll need to follow her recipe plan.
Then mix the sugar and water together
And bring to a boil in a metal pot
Stir it occasionally and watch out whether
The mix caramelizes--beware it’s hot!
To check the state of the hot mixture
Put a drop on a spoon and see
If it forms a ball, both soft and sweet , sure
‘Twill caramelize rather quickly.
Next heat the syrupy mix long enough
So it’s like gold and isn’t all burnt.
Then hold the handle to pour out the stuff
Into your pie pan. Beware! Don’t get hurt!
Next coat the sides and bottom with syrup.
Now you are ready to add the next part,
Which is the filling with which you fill up
The rest of the pan. So you’re ready to start.
Take eight to ten eggs at room temperature,
And separate each yolk from each white.
In a bowl gently mix the yolks, yellow pure,
With a spoon. Don’t beat them! Please be polite!
Mix in with the yolks (please, gently--like silk)
A teaspoon of good vanilla extract,
And fourteen ounces of condensed milk.
The amounts needn’t be precisely exact.
Next you should mix in from a can
Twelve ounces of evaporated milk.
Just mix gently according to plan
With a spoon to make the flan smooth as silk.
When the mixture blends thoroughly
Pour the mix in your caramelized pan
Through a sieve that removes quickly
Any tough bits from you sweet leche flan.
If you don’t have a sieve , you can use
A collander to filter the bits.
Whicheer method that you pick and choose
The flan will be great--one more of your hits.
Now let me describe the cooking for you.
Cover the pan with some foil or a plate.
Now you need to do some hunting it’s true
To find your steamer or an alternate.
A steamer could be an electric fryer
With water placed into the fryer pan.
Then a small bowl is used to keep higher
The caramelized pan with the leche flan.
The idea is to cok leche flan
By steaming the pan containing the mix.
Simmer water in the frying pan
To generate steam; and get some toothpicks.
Then steam the flan in the pan for an hour
At just about three hundred degrees.
A small hole in the frying pan cover
Lets steam escape in a hot little breeze.
After a half hur you should determine
If the water in the frying pan’s dried.
Add more water to keep the steam goin’.
If it dries out, the flan might get fried.
Now I’ll tell you a little trick.
You’ll need to do it with you hand.
For here you use a small wooden pick
To check the “doneness” of the flan.
You stick a pick into the flan,
And pull it back out rather quick.
You know it need to cook again,
If the flan mix sticks to the pick.
When the sweet flan is fully done
The mix won’t stick onto the pick.
Turn off the heat had have some fun.
The flan will cool but not too quick.
When you can hold he pan in hand,
Lay the sweet flan in a cool place.
Your big refrigerator can
Cool off your flan inside its space.
When the flan feels the frigid chill
For a short time--about six hours,
It wil be ready then to fill
Your tummy with its happy powers.
You’ll want to put your serving plate
Upside down over the flan pan,
Then invert both the pan and plate,
So on the plate will fall the flan.
If all that caramelized syrup
That you placed onto the flan pan
Then sticks and holds the sweet flan up,
You’ll need to loosen it by your hand
First pry it with a little knife
To gently loosen the flan’s side
So it will slip without much strife
Onto the plate and there reside.
In this last step where you invert
The pan and plate to get the flan,
You’ll really need to be alert
To watch out where the syrup ran.
Here is a method that, I think,
Can keep your kitchen from a mess.
Make the inversion over a sink
And not while wearing a pretty dress.
Now you can eat the leche flan
That our dear Eufemia made.
A sweet dessert for any man.
A sweet triumph for any maid.