Flan Pâtissier, the French take on the Custard Tart. Whilst the Portuguese Custard Tart still surpasses it, I do think it's an improvement on the English version as it's sweeter yet more delicate. My recipe relies on a custard which is flavoured with vanilla and a tart case which is baked on a pre-heated baking sheet in order to ensure you have a gloriously golden tart case. This is a simple yet utterly delicious dessert or afternoon tea-time treat.
Hands-on Time inc. Chilling 80 minutes
Baking Time 45 minutes
1 Egg, medium
2 Egg yolks, medium
100g Caster sugar
30g Light brown sugar
Fine salt, pinch
400ml Full-fat milk
170ml Single cream
1 tbsp Vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla pod)
20g Unsalted butter
20cm Loose bottomed flan tin
1 Large bowl
Hand whisk (silicone if possible)
Remove the pastry from fridge and unfold the clingfilm.
With the dough still between the clingfilm, roll out into a circle.
Take the flan tin, placing the dough inside to see if it's big enough to line the base and sides.
When you think you've rolled the dough out enough, remove the top layer of clingfilm.
Flip the dough over into the tin and adjust so it's centred.
With the clingfilm still on, press the dough into the corners and sides of the tin.
Carefully remove the clingfilm and run a sharp knife around the edge of the tin, cutting off any excess dough.
Place the tin in the fridge to chill for at least 60 minutes.
In the meantime get on with making the custard.
Whisk together the eggs (whole and yolks), sugars, and salt in a large bowl until light and foamy.
Add the cornflour and whisk again until thick.
Add the milk, cream, vanilla extract, and butter to the saucepan and place over a medium-high heat.
Stir the milk mixture with a spatula until the butter has melted and it’s gently bubbling.
Remove for the heat.
Whilst whisking the egg mixture slowly add the milk.
Continue whisking after the milk has been incorporated.
You are looking to have a very thick wobbly custard, so add the mixture back to the pan and place over a low heat. Stir continuously until it thickens up. The key thing is to keep stirring so you don’t get any lumps. Remove the pan from the heat once thick enough and transfer back into the bowl.
Place the clingfilm directly over the top of the custard to stop a skin from forming and leave to cool.
In the meantime preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C(Fan)/375°F/Gas mark 5 and place a baking sheet on the middle shelf to heat up.
When you’re ready to bake the flan, remove the tin from the fridge.
Add the custard to the centre of the tin and spread out to the sides so you have an even top.
Carefully place onto the baking sheet on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes.
Once the time is up reduce the temperature to 170°C/150°C(Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3 and bake for a further 30 minutes.
The flan should have a beautifully browned top.
Remove the flan from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Once the flan has fully cooled it’s recommended leaving it in the fridge overnight to develop its flavour further. That’s provided you can wait that long.