This gorgeous dessert reminds me of France so much. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to taste a real French Flan but that didn't stop me from making this at home. Actually I am such a lover of French desserts. Macarons, eclairs, flans, tartelettes are absolutely my favorite. I haven't tried to bake eclairs yet but they are first on my to bake list. Somehow I can't find time to bake them. But I already know they will be coffee flavored. That's because I've tasted a coffee eclair in France and it was divine.
However, let's talk about flan. This was perfect. I mean it. I have tried baking it so many times in the past but they used to scramble or taste eggy. This flan has no egg flavor, the texture is smooth and creamy and it tastes like.. like a real flan. I guess. Well, I haven't tasted a real French flan as I've already mentioned, but I can't imagine it more delicious than this.. The recipe isn't original because I altered it a little bit. Anyway, trust me, this is really good.
75g butter, softened
¼ tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 vanilla pod or 1 tbsp of vanilla essence* (see note)
1) Mix together the softened butter, the sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Fold in the egg. Add in the flour and mix until just incorporated. Wrap into plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2) Roll the dough into a thin circle. Press it into the pan leaving plenty of pastry coming up the sides. Put in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3) In a large pot over medium-low heat, boil the milk with vanilla.
4) In another bowl, mix the lightly beaten eggs with cornstarch and sugar.
5) When the milk mixture boils, reduce the heat to low and start pouring the egg mixture into the milk. Keep whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture thickens (for about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes before pouring onto the crust.
6) Preheat oven to 180C. Pour the milk mixture onto the crust and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, let cool completely and then refrigerate overnight.
Note: I didn't have any vanilla pod so I used vanilla essence. However, I recommend you to use a vanilla pod because I believe this gives a more intense flavour.