This flan was baked in a fluted mold. It is just as easy, if not easier, to bake in a regular deep mold. I prefer using a metal mold, rather than ceramic or glass mold, because I've had several molds crack due to the differences in temperature and ended up having to start all over again.

Pour sugar (and a bit of water, see your recipe) into mold and put on stove burner over medium high heat to melt the sugar. Once the sugar is melted, let the caramel become a deep gold and it's done. Take it off the burner immediatedly.

Watch it while it is cooking, if it burns you'll have to start all over again. There is really no need to stir or use a utensil of any kind while the sugar caramelizes. Note: this caramel is almost looks a bit too dark and that's because of the light, but if your caramel looks too dark that means it was cooked just a minute too long.

I like a lot of caramel in my flan so I use 2 cups of sugar and 3 tbps water for the caramel.

Once sugar caramelizes, turn off the heat and carefully tilt the pan over and around, oven mittens on, so that the caramel coats the sides and bottom of mold. Excess caramel will settle down at the bottom of the pan and that is fine. . The caramel will harden and crack, but that's okay.

Note: Caramelized sugar is very, very hot. Make sure you are alone in the kitchen when doing this. Melted sugar will cause severe burns that are extremely painful.

Get your ingredients together, I use a mixer, but you may use a whisk if you prefer. Make sure to mix it all well so that there are no clumps and is very smooth. Do not mix with electric mixer over 4 minutes, might end up with air bubbles and swiss cheese-like flan (it will still taste just as good).

Place caramelized pan in a deep pan. Pour flan mixture into caramelized pan.

Not pictured here is a large cookie sheet, which we suggest that you use because later on the cookie sheet will make it easy to lift and remove the very hot pan with water from the oven without spilling hot water on the floor and maybe your feet.

So you will have a large cookie sheet, then a deep pan serving as the baño de María pan on top of the cookie sheet, and finally the mold inside the baño de María. After pouring the flan mixture in the mold, cover the mold with foil paper. Fill the baño de María with boiling water and bake.

Bake it for as long as the recipe calls. Use a wet butter knife to test for doneness . . . . knife should come clean. Sometimes the baking time is over an hour, depending on the ingredients.

Traditionally Puerto Rican flan is more solid than the flans we eat in the states that tend to be jiggly. That means we use more eggs, from 8 to 12 or so. Yes, that is true. The flan turns out more solid and will need more cooking time.

Let it cool and refrigerate until needed. Before inverting unto plate, run a knife around the edges to separate from pan.

The flan should look like this.

Set a deep dish over the pan and then quickly flip over. The flan will slowly slip free and the caramel sauce will flow out.

Pour any caramel left in the pan over flan.

Fill the empty mold with very hot water and let it sit for easier cleaning. After filling with hot water, add a bit of dishsoap. You might have to repeat this step until the mold is completely clean.