Dog Bowl Flan

Yes, you read the title right.  I have previously written about this story, but for those of you just tuning in, let me share.

I was at my Secundo Mama’s house for a lovely meal and her beautiful friend Norma was there.  She had brought along a flan that blew my socks off.  Norma’s joy fills up the room and I have been blessed by spending a few special times with her.  Well, after dessert, I just knew I had to get the recipe.  Norma sent it along and as I read the directions it said, “a good steel pan….”  Well, we were having cocktails and I vaguely remember the pan she had used.  I hit Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, William & Sonoma, but no luck I couldn’t find it.

I emailed her again asking about the pan and she came back with, “Pet’s Smart Dog Bowl.”  WHAT???? A dog bowl.  Yes, folks here it is!

Don’t get the skid proof bottom one, or you will have plastic melting all over your oven and the local firefighters coming to pay you a visit.  Every time I have made this recipe I laugh at the dog bowl and chuckle to myself as I serve up the best flan ever.  This week I’m going to a dessert exchange and am making Norma’s flan.  Although I think we should change the name.   Norma’s Perro Flan. That way dog is in there only sounds exotic in Spanish!!

Thanks for the great memories Norma and the only flan worthy of a dog bowl!!  And the only one I will ever make.

Norma’s Perro Flan


1 cup sugar

1 can condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2  can of grated coconut, drained


In a good steel pan (wink-wink), melt sugar over low heat  stirring constantly. When sugar is completely melted, tilt  and rotate pan to cover all sides with melted sugar. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a bowl, mix 3 eggs gently.  Add condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla. Stir together.  Add drained, grated coconut and stir gently.  Pour this mixture into the cooled, sugar coated pan.  Lay tinfoil loosely over pan and sit pan in Bain Marie*. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.  Remove and let cool.  When cool, invert large plate over top of pan. With a quick motion, flip pan over and allow flan to drop onto plate.  Chill in refrigerator before serving.

*Sometimes I gently heat the bottom of the dog bowl over a low flame to loosen sugar topping if it has cooled too much- this helps it to flip over without sticking.

*Bain Marie- a large baking dish with water, large enough to hold flan pan.



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6 responses to “Dog Bowl Flan

  1. Chad

    Great story and recipe. One question: cool for 90 mins how? Simmer the water ? Full boil or?

  2. Melissa

    I usually remove it from the water bath and cool it for about an hour. Then on a low flame reheat the bottom of the pan for 1-2 minutes to melt the sugar again b/f I flip it over. The water is usually simmering in the Ban Marie. It boiled this time (as I think the temp. is off on my oven) and was a tad too brown for me. Enjoy the recipe!

  3. Norma Madeo

    Looks like you have that recipe down perfectly. You guys were the first people I ever told that I make the Flan in a dog’s bowl!!! I shared the secret… because you, your Mom & Linda are gourmet cooks…and I knew you needed the right pan!!!
    Have a fun birthday week!!!

  4. Mom

    I love my dog bowl and use it for more than the flan. And every time I get it out to mix up something I laugh about how Melissa and I searched and searched for the bowl Norma had only to find out we needed to go to PetSmart.

  5. laura

    WOW, my pups love flan in their bowl! Much better than water.

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