Three Ingredient Honey Flans


Hip Pressure Cooking

Published by St. Martins Griffin

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

I developed this recipe for my in-store pressure cooker demonstrations. I wanted a flan that is as delicious fresh out of the pressure cooker as it is chilled. It also had to be not at all fussy to make, with just three ingredients for the custard, plus a crushed cookie topping. The honey serves as both a flavor and sweetener, eliminating the need for sugar and the conventional step for infusing milk with spice of some sort. Use a dark, flavorful honey to get the most bang of flavor. My favorite; chestnut honey, but any dark-colored, full-flavored honey will do.

NotesNote: This recipe can be either halved or doubled, provided there are 2 cups of water in the pressure cooker base. If doubling, stack the ramekins pyramid-style or cook in two batches.Variation

Maple Syrup Flans

Follow the Three-Ingredient Honey Flans recipe, replacing the honey with maple syrup and the cookies with crumbled pecan toffee (or toasted pecans and brown sugar).

Get Hip About the Pressure

Recipes for pressure cooking indicate whether they are to be cooked at high or low pressure. In this book, the pressure cooking step is written like this:

“Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes/stovetop or 8 to 10 minutes/electric (or nonstandard stovetop.)”

Although the way pressure is achieved and maintained differs for stovetop and electric pressure cookers, the meaning is the same for both: Once you lock the cover on the cooker, you select a pressure level, heat the cooker until it signals the selected pressure has been reached, and then you start counting the cooking time; electric cookers do some of this for you. When you come to the pressure cooking step in the recipes, bring the cooker to pressure in the manner appropriate for its type. Here’s the process for each type, in a nutshell.

For Stovetop Pressure Cookers

1. Add ingredients and liquid to the pressure cooker and select high or low pressure. Put the cooker on the stove burner.

2. Turn the burner heat to high and leave it there until the cooker signals pressure is reached.

3. Turn the burner heat down to the minimum required to maintain the pressure and begin counting the cooking time.

4. Release pressure and serve!

For Electric Pressure Cookers

1. Add ingredients and liquid to the pressure cooker and select a cooking program or set the pressure cooking time.

2. Press start and then wait for the beep that signals the end of cooking.

3. Release pressure and serve!

10-Minute Natural Release. There are also instances where Natural Release may take too long but you want the benefit of its continued cooking time. When this is the case, turn off the heat and wait 10 minutes; then, if the cooker hasn’t opened, release any remaining pressure using Normal Release. If the pressure comes down before the 10 minutes are up, which may be the case for a stovetop cooker, wait the full time before opening the cooker. This 10-Minute Natural Release technique is especially useful for rice and other grains, which benefit from the extra 10 minutes in the cooker’s steam. (If the cooking was done at low pressure, the recipe will instruct you to use this procedure but count only 5 minutes.)

Check Custards for Doneness

To see if your custard or flan is cooked enough, lift one ramekin from the cooker; remove the foil and jiggle the custard a bit. It should be nearly solid, not liquid; it will continue to cook while cooling and solidify further when chilled. If you are unsure, you can insert a toothpick in the middle of the custard; if it comes out clean it means the custard is ready. If the toothpick does not come cut clean, return the ramekin to the cooker and pressure cook for 2 minutes more.

Cooking Methodpressure cooking



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationgluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentpressure cooker

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Moodstressed, tired

Taste and Texturecreamy, rich, sweet

Type of Dishdessert


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup dark honey
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 amaretti cookies or gingersnaps, finely crushed, for sprinkling


  1. Add 2 cups of water to the pressure cooker base; insert the steamer basket and set aside.

  2. Break one of the eggs into a 4-cup measuring cup; separate the other egg, adding the yolk to the measuring cup and reserving the white for another use. Add the honey to the eggs and whisk together until well combined, then whisk in the milk. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into six 4-ounce ramekins: cover each tightly with aluminum foil. Arrange the ramekins in the steamer basket, making sure they are level.

  3. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure (see Notes) for 5 minutes/all cooker types. When the time is up, open the pressure cooker using the 10-Minute Natural Release method (see Notes.

  4. Check the flan for doneness (see “Check Custards for Doneness,” page 246). Lift the ramekins out of the cooker. Remove the foil and sprinkle crushed cookies over each flan and serve warm. Or if you prefer to serve them chilled, hold off on the crushed cookies. Instead, let the flans cool for about 30 minutes, then Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Add the crushed cookies just before serving.


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