Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Flan Patissier

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
50g sugar
½ egg
145g flour
¼ tsp salt

960ml milk
4 large eggs
140g sugar
90g cornstarch
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.


  1. This has a delicious look!! My boyfriend loves flan, so he's going to enjoy this! I will save the recipe, we have to try it! It looks similar to a mini-pie we buy in a french patisserie ;)

    1. I hope your boyfriend will like this! How is that dessert called you buy there? :)

    2. Hi!!
      What we buy in the patisserie I told you is called Flan tartelette, and it's very similar to this you have prepared but smaller version.
      The difference is that the buttery pastry is thicker, so it has less quantity of custard inside. It's a delicious snack ;)

  2. I'm half french, so I really miss this dessert since it's so difficult to find in England :( It is my all time favourite dessert! :) Yours looks absolutely divine, and I really can't wait to give this a go!

    I've never tried to make a pastry dough before :s Any tips? ^^'

    1. It's my favourite too! Yes, it's really difficult to find it. And I've only tasted the REAL Flan in France, however, this was very close to the real one! When it was in the oven I thought it would be a disaster because of that black top which rose while baking. But when I sliced it the next day I was surprised! I think you will not have problems with making this. However, it is important that when you pour the egg/cornstarch mixture into the boiling milk, you do it slowly and keep whisking ALL THE TIME. And also you must leave your flan in the fridge overnight. I wish to hear from you when you bake it!

  3. That looks wonderful! I love creamy custard desserts like that, and with pie crust too? I bet I could eat the whole pie!

    1. Thanks! Believe me, I ATE almost all the pie.

  4. Hi Gaby,
    This is a great recipe. I made a flan yesterday and after a night in the fridge it tastes as good as those I ate in my childhood in France.
    Thanks !!

  5. Dear Gaby,

    I have only now found this recipy, but it is by far the best looking flan I ever came across on the internet! I want to make it for my brother-in-law, who loves the French flan. I have one question though: can you substitute the cornstarch with potato flour? If yes, would it be the same amount?


    1. Potato starch can be substituted for cornstarch. However, I haven't tried it in this recipe and can't assure that the texture and all the outcome will be the same!

      If you try to use potato starch, make sure you watch it carefully because it starts thickening faster and at a lower temperature than cornstarch. Try adding a little less potato starch and cook over low heat, stirring constantly! I've also heard that potato starch doesn't hold so well as cornstarch so this might be a problem. I don't recommend substituting cornstarch but if you do so, I would like to hear about the results!

    2. Thank you! If I try it with potayo startch I will certainly let you know!


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