Flan (which, I have to confess, is Spanish, not Mexican) is surprisingly easy to make. The trick is to cook it in a water bath to ensure gentle heat surrounds the custard so it won’t break or curdle. There are various methods of infusing coconut flavor into a flan, but coconut milk is the easiest, giving you intense flavor and also a smooth texture. When I first made this recipe, I thought adding shredded coconut to custard would give even more flavor. It does, but it takes away from the velvety texture, so I opt to sprinkle some toasted coconut on the top instead.
Reprinted from the book Mexican Made Easy by Marcela Valladolid. Copyright © 2011 by Marcela Valladolid. Photographs copyright © 2011 by Jennifer Martine. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.