Recipe submitted by Kim Caviness, Familia Kitchen co-founder and editor in chief
This is the Puerto Rican flan my mom, Marisa Jiménez Caviness, served at least every other time people came over—which was a lot because we owned a little hotel in El Condado, about two miles from Old San Juan. It was called El Canario, after her favorite color: yellow. The huéspedes came mostly from the States, and Mami and Dad invited the regulars, who came season after season, across the driveway to our condo for drinks (daiquiris and piña coladas)—and dinner, which usually started with Mom’s arroz on pollo and ended with her famous flan. The guests always asked for seconds of the flan—and so did my sister and me.
“Get ready for your family or dinner guests to ask for the recipe. I never met anyone who didn’t love it.”—Marisa Jiménez Caviness
Mom makes flan in a round mold with a hole in the middle. “The hole makes it prettier,” she says. Her secret ingredient is 2 jiggers of liqueur—she is partial to Curaçao if she has it. If not, Grand Marnier or any fruit-flavored liqueur will do.
This recipe came from her mother, my grandmother, Rocío Servera Jiménez of Mayaguez and later San Juan, who wasn’t much of a cook, truth be told. “She must have gotten it from a friend or one of her sisters,” Mom guesses.
Mom recommends serving this flan when “you want a good dessert for a good dinner.” If you make it for Thanksgiving, Mom cautions, you’ll need two: each feeds about 8 people. “I never met anyone who didn’t love it,” she says.