Crème caramel or flan is a rich custard with a caramel sauce. In this recipe Chef Patrick Herron uses duck eggs rather than chicken eggs.


  • vanilla bean pod, beans removed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 duck eggs

Caramel Sauce

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 custard cups


  1. Combine vanilla bean pod, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup heavy cream in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Separate 4 duck eggs. Duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs. Stir, but do not whip. You don't want the eggs too airy or your flan will be grainy.
  3. Place a strainer on top of the bowl with the eggs. Once the cream comes to a boil pour a small amount through the strainer into the eggs and stir. This will temper the eggs to prevent them from cooking when you add the rest of the hot vanilla cream. Add the remaining liquid. Stir, don't whip.
  4. For the caramel sauce mix together 1/4 cup water with 1 1/2 cups sugar in a sauce pan. Heat without stirring until amber in color.
  5. Place 4 oven safe custard cups in a sheet cake pan filled half way with water.
  6. Quickly pour the caramel sauce into the custard cups. Just enough to cover the bottom. Allow the caramel sauce to cool down.
  7. Divide the custard mix between the 4 cups.
  8. Place the cake pan and custard filled cups in a pre-heated 300 degree F oven for 45 minutes.
  9. Take the custard out of the oven and allow to cool. Once cool run a knife around the edge and invert on a plate.