The ingenious method of baking delicate items in a water bath was developed at a time when ovens were less refined and lacked precise control. When ramekins of custard or a dish with flan are placed in a water bath, the heated water circulates around the pan tempering the direct heat from the oven heating element. This gentle indirect heat cooks the custard to perfection without curdling.
While this method is still recommended when baking delicate items in a traditional oven, when baking your favorite custard, flan, or cheesecake in a Steam oven a water bath is not required.
How To Bake Custard and Flan in a Steam Oven
When we cook ramekins filled with custard in a pan of simmering water, we are effectively using steam to cook the food. In the Steam oven using the Steam mode set to 212 ℉ yields the same results but instead of placing the ramekins in a water bath, we place them in the perforated pan.
I find placing the ramekins or a flan dish directly in the perforated pan makes it easy for me to move the dishes in and out of the oven and of course, the perforations in the pan allow the steam to circulate freely around the baking dishes.
I don’t recommend cooking on two racks when making custard in the Steam oven because the top tray will drip moisture onto the lower tray.
Do I Need to Cover Custard or Cheesecake with Plastic Wrap When Baking in the Steam Oven?
No there is no need to cover these foods when cooking them in the Steam oven.
What Type of Containers Can I Use?
Any oven-safe ceramic or glass containers will work well when cooking custard or flan in the Steam oven. Cheesecake can be baked in a traditional spring form pan.
Adapting Recipes for Cooking in the Steam Oven
Foods that include a lot of custard such as Bread Pudding, Baked Rice Pudding, and French Toast Casserole can also be cooked in a combination of Convection and Steam using a moderate temperature of 325 - 350℉.
Sweet and savory custards and flan can be cooked in the Steam mode at 212℉.
While the concept of delicate baking in a water bath is ingenious I think you will find the ease and safety of baking in the Steam oven while achieving great results is definitely an improvement. I hope you will try your hand at making your favorite Creme Brulée or Flan soon and stay tuned for my next Blog Post a fall Convection Meal, Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Grapes, and Acorn Squash.
Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast