caramel sundae topping
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
3 (8-oz.) c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. sugar
Preheat Oven to 325°. Squirt into the bottom of six custard cups or one tart or pie plate, some of the caramel sundae topping and swirl it slightly up the sides. Beat together (very well) the six eggs. Strain this mixture through a fine mesh sieve and then pour back into the mixer bowl. Add the sweetened condensed milk, mixing thoroughly. Add the vanilla (and cinnamon, if you'd like) and the other three cups of milk, mixing well after each addition. Pour this custard base into the custard cups that have been prepared with the caramel topping. Place these cups into a glass or ceramic baking dish and fill the dish with hot water until it comes halfway up the sides of the custard cups. About 1-2 inches. Bake in this water bath for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the custard just off center comes out clean. Do not overcook! Let custard cups cool for about 10 minutes and then put them into the refrigerator for an hour or so. Run a butter knife or spatula around the edge to loosen the custard and then invert onto a plate, the caramel sauce will flow over the top of the flan. Top with whipped cream, fresh berries or both!
Note: The key to velvety smooth flan is in the straining of the beaten eggs and NOT overcooking it. When I was out of the three cups of regular milk I have substituted two cans of evaporated milk, and even diluted sour cream. The caramel sundae topping replaces caramelizing sugar to put in the bottom of the custard cups.