1 T. Water
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 t. Vanilla extract
1/2 c sugar
3 egg yolks
I use a cast iron skillet to bake the flan and make the caramelized sugar, but you can brown the sugar in a heavy pan and quickly pour it over the bottom of a heavy baking dish.
Add the sugar and water to a heavy pan and cook over medium heat until the sugar is melted and it starts to turn light brown. * Turn off the heat and either pour it into your baking dish or leave it in the skillet and let it cool while you make the custard. (*I added 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips and let them melt once the sugar was dissolved)
In another saucepan, combine the half-and-half, sugar and vanilla. Bring to a bare simmer (warm enough to melt the sugar). Do not boil it!
In a stand up mixer, mix the eggs until they are light yellow (I use the paddle, not whisk).
On slow, gradually drizzle in the simmered milk, 1/2 cup at a time until it has all been added.
Pour the custard over the caramelized sugar and bake for 45-60 minutes (depends on the diameter of the pan). It is done when the edges are bubbly and it is not jiggly when you shake it. It will set up as it cools.
Cool and then chill. Clear the edges with a knife and then quickly and carefully flip it onto a serving platter.
Adapted from the Food Network's Alton Brown's Flandango