Flan Pâtissier...

Every time we’ve been to France recently there’s been some irrational obsession and anticipation about having a slice of ‘flan’. This is usually followed by the inevitable, equally irrational over-eating of said ‘flan’. In an attempt to meet this need the rest of the year, I have done some searching for the ‘flan’ recipe online, but with only that one word to go on, the results were variable. Then I spotted this box of flan mix in a French supermarket, which surely was going to be the answer to our need for flan the year round. It was worth a gamble for €1.15.

As it happens, when we got it home I realised that the box simply contains cornflour, vanilla flavouring and colouring. You have to add milk, sugar and, if you want to improve the flavour, an egg (On that note, make sure you add the sugar – long story); so really we already had everything we needed in the cupboard.

It was obvious really, but now I know it’s called Flan Pâtissier as I’ve seen it on the box, and a quick google reveals loads of authentic, egg-based recipes I can try, so look out for flan version 2 in the future.

• Line a fairly deep tart tin or cake tin with a rich shortcrust pastry, and bake blind so the pastry is cooked before adding the filling
• Beat the egg, sugar, 250ml of milk and the packet mix together in a bowl/jug
• Meanwhile bring the rest of the milk to the boil slowly, stirring all the time so it doesnt catch.
• When it has boiled, por it over the egg mixture and stir together thoroughly
• Return to the pan and simmer for 1-2 minutes until the custard begins to thicken up
• Pour into the crust and bake for around 40 minutes at 180°C until the crust is well browned.
• Cool for at least 2 hours in the fridge before slicing and serving.

• A rich pastry can be made quickly by combining 8oz of plain flour, with 3oz of butter to resemble breadcrumbs. Then bind the mixture with an egg and a little milk. It can be sweetened with 2 or 3 spoons of icing sugar.
• Curiously the box recipe does not call for pastry, but says you can butter the dish and dust with flour. This does work, and it holds together fine, but really you want pastry!


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