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- Dish type
- Pies and tarts
- Sweet pies and tarts
- Fruit pies and tarts
It is actually quite easy to make a flan case for your favorite fruit pie. You can make it ahead and keep it for up to 2 days in the fridge before baking it.
29 people made this
IngredientsMakes: 1 flan case
- 200g plain flour
- 100g caster sugar
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min
- Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Grease a 25cm flan tin.
- In a bowl combine all ingredients and knead till it holds together as a ball. Place into the flan tin and use your fingertips to spread it evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the tin.
- Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
- Let flan case cool down completely before removing it from the flan tin, otherwise it is likely to break. Fill with fruit of your liking.
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For the Best Flan, Double the Caramel
When you usually think of dessert for one, it’s something microwaved in a mug or a precious, portioned miniature. But I don’t want a sensible cupcake or tiny pie, I want something I can eat entirely, all on my own. This flan fits the bill. With deep, dark caramel to take the edge off, it’s never too rich or cloying. I even take it one step further by toasting the dairy for the added savory notes of nutty toffee and toast. Sure, you could share—this baked custard can easily slice into sturdy wedges to feed a crowd. But on cloudy days when the husband’s away, I don’t even flip it out of its pan and dig right in with an extra large spoon.
A flan is a baked custard often served in Latin America and Spain. Unlike crème brûlée or crema Catalana, where sugar is sprinkled on top of a baked and cooled custard before getting torched into a crisp topping, here we start with the caramel. Caramelized sugar syrup is poured into a dish and dangerously swirled around to coat the bottom in a shimmering golden shell. A custard is then poured on top and, while baking in the oven, it dissolves the caramel shell into a sauce. The sauce waits patiently under the tender custard until you ultimately flip out the flan, or dig in with a spoon to find the glittering pool.
Flan is really all about the caramel. Sure, when made right, the custard will be creamy and rich without being dense or heavy, with a little jiggle that melts in your mouth. But the sharp acidity and smokiness of burnt sugar are at the forefront, and I look at the custard as just a vehicle to put the maximum amount of caramel into my body.
I tested the recipe with sugar taken to various degrees of caramelization, from a light clover honey hue to the darkest shades of my heart. The majority of the tasters preferred the flan with the darkest, nearly burnt sugar for the contrast it provided the delicate cream. If you prefer a more subtle and sweet flavor, stop cooking the sugar at an earlier stage. The initial goal of testing the caramel was to provide a temperature guide, which would allow you to reproduce the caramel which most accurately represented my black soul, but unfortunately the amount of sugar used in the recipe creates a volume of caramel that is too shallow to register on a candy thermometer. Your best bet is to let color be your guide and find the caramel that best speaks to you.
There’s more than one way to make a caramel. Some methods melt sugar completely dry—a fast route for a skilled sugar master—while others give the sugar a little nudge in the right direction with a splash of water. I prefer the safety net a splash of water gives me, especially with such a small quantity of caramel, where the extra time is hardly a game changer.
To make the caramel, I add sugar and water to a pot over medium heat and cover with a lid for the first stage. The condensation from the water washes down the sides of the pan, preventing any annoying crystallization. Once the sugar has dissolved into a syrup, I uncover the pan and crank up the heat to watch the magic happen. It’s a quick transformation from a pure white pile to smoldering lava, so keep a close eye on it. I take my caramel to the edge: Once the syrup is well past golden, the room starts to get smoky, and I start to wonder if I’ve gone too far, I pour the caramel onto a dish and quickly swirl it around to coat the bottom and sides of the pan.
Now, don’t wash that pot just yet—there’s still good flavor in there! To top out the caramel-ness of this dish, I also caramelize the sugar in the custard. In the same pot I add some more sugar and cook, but this time to a more conservatively caramelized stage, so it’s sweet enough to flavor the custard. Once it’s fully taken on a sunset hue, I add toasted milk and cream—but the clean, cool flavor of fresh dairy will do just as well.
I bring the mixture up to a simmer to dissolve the caramel before tempering in the eggs and yolks. Typically, hot liquids are tempered into eggs by adding a ladleful at a time while whisking vigorously, but I don’t always trust myself. My lack of coordination has led me to witness many good custards go bad, so I prefer to temper eggs with the help of a blender. I pour the hot milk and cream into a blender and, while running on low, I add the eggs, yolks, salt, and vanilla. The blender leaves me with two free hands to pour in the eggs and dance around the kitchen with jazz hands—show me a whisk that’ll let you do that!
Once the custard is all blended together, I pour it into my caramel coated pan before covering everything loosely with foil or plastic wrap. The oven temperature isn’t high enough for the plastic wrap to melt and it gives you a clear view of the flan while baking. However, if plastic in the oven gives you the heebie-jeebies, foil can step up to the plate as well. Covering the custard not only prevents it from forming a skin, but also helps it cook faster. When testing flans baked covered versus uncovered, the covered flans baked in one-third less the time.
For a tender and supple flan, I bake the custard until it is just set and has reached an internal temperature of 175°F (80°C). Any higher and the flan will become dense and, at the extreme, curdled and grainy. To prevent overshooting our desired internal temp, the flan needs to be protected from the intense dry heat of the oven with a water bath. By cooking the flan in a roasting pan filled with hot water, we guarantee that the custard won’t heat past the boiling point, and we can slowly reach our ultimate temperature. The cooked flan will give you a boisterous wiggle when shaken, while still being set to the touch.
If you want a flan recipe that involves sous vide, our buddies at Chef Steps have got you covered. I love channeling my inner abuela and enjoy mastering a traditional technique, but I also appreciate the opportunity to break out some fun toys.
Cool the flan fully before flipping it out of the pan, or not. This is your flan and you can do with it what you want. Share it with friend and loved ones, or eat it alone in your bathtub, we won’t judge.
Chocolate Bread Pudding, the Brazilian Way
Bread pudding as we know it can be traced back to the 12 th century. It was likely a dish born out of need, as it was a great way to use up stale bread and make it more palatable. In 13 th century England, bread pudding was known as the “poor man’s pudding” because it was usually eaten by the lower classes. As with many of our favorite comfort foods, this dish that was once looked down upon as simple food for “peasants,” is now a beloved tradition.
Many countries have their own version of bread pudding: for example, in Venezuela, there is pudín de pan, Spain has pan de Calatrava, Puerto Rico’s bread pudding is called budin, Mexico has a type of bread pudding called Capirotada, and in Portugal and Brazil it is pudim de p ã o . In the U.S. bread pudding is a popular dessert in the S outhern states.
Brazilian bread pudding is much smoother in texture than most others, which are more chunky. We bake the dessert in a Bundt pan with a caramel glaze. When you turn the baked bread pudding out of the pan onto a serving plate, the delicious caramel coats the pudding, much like a flan. It is heavenly!
In short, this is not your old-fashioned bread pudding!
Fruit Flan Recipe!
You guys will know by now that I absolutely love recreating bakes which are nostalgic to me. It’s almost like a series I’m doing here on my blog!
Today’s bake brings back such lovely memories of when I was a child. Every year without fail my mum would make a fruit flan and I just remember the excitement when coming home from school and eating a slice.
Well for a few years now my mum hasn’t made a fruit flan so I thought it was my time to re-create and bring it back into our lives!
Although, my fruit flan is slightly different to my mums, I actually added a filling to my flan to give it my own touch and boy, am I obsessed with how this came out.
I feel there’s no better time than now, as we are heading into summer, to bring out the summer fruits and create the perfect summery desert!
If you’d like to create this yourself, the recipe is below:
Ingredients You Need For Flan:
- 1 Sponge Flan Case
- Pun Of Strawberries
- Pun Of Blueberries
- Tin Of Peach Slices
Ingredients You Need For Filling :
- 100ml Of Fruit Syrup (you can use the syrup from the peaches)
- 100ml Of Cold Water
- 1oz Of Granulated Sugar
- 1 Sachet Of Strawberry Flavoured Quick Gel
- Firstly, gather together your ingredients and equipment and take your sponge flan case out the packaging and place on a plate.
- Secondly, in a large bowl, cream together the 227g of cream cheese, 67g of granulated sugar and 1tbsp of vanilla extract.
- Once creamed together, spread the cream mixture onto the base of the flan case until covered.
- Now it’s time to assemble your fruit!
- Slice the strawberries and place them, tip up around the edge of the flan. Then do a second layer of strawberries around the flan case in-between the first layer of strawberries.
- Then, drain the syrup of the peach slices into a jug and set aside. Using the peach slices, place them around the strawberries.
- Finally, place the blueberries into the middle of the flan.
- In a small pan over a medium heat, add the 100ml of fruit syrup, 100ml of cold water, 1oz of granulated and sachet of strawberry syrup.
- Whilst stirring continuously, bring the mixture to the boil and boil for around 1 minute.
- Once boiled for 1 minute, take off the heat and leave for around 10 minutes, making sure you give it a little stir every minute or so.
- (TIP: if you find it’s thickening before the 10 minutes is up, then do this next step earlier).
- Finally, using a brush, brush the gelatine onto the fruit slices.
That’s your Fruit Flan prepared, assembled and ready for you to enjoy!
You guys have got to try this! Honestly, it’s the perfect summery desert which I can guarantee everyone will love.
One amazing thing about this flan is that it’s so versatile, you can add any fruit you want, add a different base/filling and just make it your own! You can literally add anything you like to it.
Simple Eggless Flan
- Author: Audrey @ Unconventional Baker
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 3 servings
- Category: Pudding
- Cuisine: Dessert
This refined sugar-free and eggless flan adaptation is a delicious, smooth, simple, and comforting little treat. This classic recipe fits a wide variety of diets as it’s gluten-free, vegan, grain-free, and oil-free, soy-free, nut-free, and can be made coconut-free as well.
- 1 cup light coconut milk (or almond milk)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp agar agar flakes (mine were finely crushed see notes re: powder)
- ⅛ tsp raw ground vanilla bean (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
- Place all flan ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer on medium heat, stirring regularly. Once the mixture comes to a light simmer, let it simmer for about 30 seconds to 1 min, then turn off the heat.
- Divide this mixture between three small ramekins (or small glass containers), let cool to room temperature, then carefully place in the fridge and refrigerate for two-three hours (or overnight) to set.
- When ready to eat, run a knife around the edge of the flan to loosen it up a little, then flip the ramekin onto a plate and tap the top to release the flan (or alternatively simply enjoy out of the ramekin). Top with some date syrup and enjoy! Keep leftovers refrigerated.
Note: agar agar flakes are not the same as agar agar powder. They are the same source product, but the change from flakes to powder is significant as the powder is a lot more concentrated. I used flakes here as that is what I had on hand, but if you want to substitute agar agar powder in this recipe you’ll need to reduce the amount to about .66 of a tsp (the conversion of powder to flakes is 1:3).
Did you make this recipe?
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links to the following products used to make it: agar agar flakes, raw ground vanilla bean, date syrup, coconut syrup, small ramekins.
Easy Caramel Flan
Danielle Centoni is a Portland-based, James Beard Journalism Award-winning food writer and cookbook author whose idea of a perfect day always includes butter, sugar, flour, and an oven.×
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 6g||8%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||17%|
|Total Carbohydrate 50g||18%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 50g|
|Vitamin C 1mg||6%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Flan is a popular dessert in Spain and all of Latin America. Made of an eggy and creamy custard, and baked to perfection in a water bath, classic flan is always a favorite. The dish also has many versions and is versatile enough to take on many flavors. Although flan isn't difficult in itself to make, it takes practice and patience. Our particularly easy recipe for caramel flan is prized for its simplicity—just five ingredients and some simple steps. If you’ve never made flan before, now is the time to try.
With origins going back to Roman times when egg surpluses were turned into savory and sweet custards, flan was cherished for centuries among Spaniards, who then brought it to America. Mexicans take pride in their flans, as the dessert evolved there and became the sweet staple it is today thanks to the heavy influence this cuisine had on the recipe.
Before you start, be sure to have at hand 12 (4-ounce) ramekins or other similar cookware for individual servings. Alternatively, use a 1 1/2-quart soufflé dish, cake pan, or loaf pan to make just one big flan. Regardless of the size you choose, the dishes must comfortably fit into larger baking pans for a bain-marie, the key for a successful creamy and wobbly flan.
Parsnip flan with wild mushrooms and shallots
Sometimes a great food idea seems to bubble up from several sources at once -- and why not? Culinary inspiration often comes when chefs are playing in the kitchen. They all have the same toys, after all -- ingredients and techniques. When chefs start putting their spin on a specific technique, invention begins. It seems that lately, chefs around town have been playing with flan, but not for dessert.
Vegetable flans -- yes, they can be as delicious as they sound -- have appeared on several restaurant menus in recent weeks. At La Cachette, a simple leek flan was served with Dover sole. At Bastide, an eggplant flan was part of a three-way version of the vegetable that accompanied trout with almond sauce. And at Chloe, a parsnip flan with wild mushrooms started as a main course but evolved into an appetizer, prettied up with a microgreens salad.
It’s a concept that doesn’t even take getting used to. “People think of flan as the Spanish dessert with caramel, or creme caramel in French,” says Jeff Osaka, co-chef of Chloe, “but flan is simply a slow-cooked custard containing eggs, cream or milk and any kind of flavoring you like. We happened to go with parsnip because of the season, but you could use other vegetables.”
Alain Giraud of Bastide, who has made flans with white or green asparagus, was dreaming up side dishes to serve with trout with an almond-based sauce when he made an eggplant flan.
“I was playing with the idea of trout and almond, and the eggplant provided a bridge between these two things. I love to play with an element and do it several ways, so we did an eggplant caviar or puree, crispy eggplant chips and the flan. The flan is wonderfully silky and very agreeable, not grainy. It’s an interestingly different flavor and consistency in your mouth.”
One reason chefs love to serve vegetable flans rather than savory souffles is that they can be made ahead and kept warm or rewarmed. This is important when something else on the plate requires last-minute attention, as is the case with many fish dishes.
The home cook also can take advantage of the relatively easygoing nature of this delicately flavored, melt-in-your-mouth preparation.
“You can cook them in advance slowly,” says La Cachette’s Jean-Francois Meteigner of his beautiful pale-green leek flans. “Then reheat them in the microwave. Unmold the flans, cover them in Saran wrap and put them in the microwave at the low setting.”
Meteigner says vegetable flans are great dishes for kids, nourishing and fun. “You can do variations. You can use carrots, you can use celery root.”
The parsnip flan at Chloe is served with a generous portion of sauteed wild mushrooms. “The earthiness of the mushrooms and the sweetness of the parsnip pair well,” says Osaka. “It was created to fill a need for a vegetarian item, but it would go well with shellfish too.”
If you’ve made egg custard, you can make vegetable flans. Prepare and puree the vegetables and flavorings such as garlic, shallots and seasonings. Combine with eggs or egg whites, and cream or milk. Bake in a bain marie, or water bath, in a medium oven until set but still tender.
“When you make a vegetable flan,” says Giraud, “you have to be careful to keep the vegetable flavor but not let it be too watery.” The proportions of egg and dairy products and vegetables all affect the outcome, but flans are fairly forgiving, and if you’re the experimental type, play around like the pros do.
For instance, you can riff on Meteigner’s leek flan recipe. Just cook and puree about a pound of another vegetable -- carrots or celery root, as he suggests, or even broccoli or asparagus.
Add a small amount of reserved cooking liquid or milk (depending on the vegetable), if necessary to puree, and substitute that for the pureed leeks.
Your reward will be a rich, smooth custard whose creaminess highlights the natural sweetness of the vegetables, a dish with an elegance all out of proportion (in your favor) to its ease of preparation.
First, make the sweet pastry. You will need half the quantity given here. Return to the method below once the pastry is ready to roll out and bake.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5.
Lightly grease a 20cm loose-bottomed tart tin with butter or baking spray
Lightly dust your work surface with flour, then roll out the pastry into a circle 5mm thick and large enough to fit into the tin, leaving an overhang of about 2.5cm.
Roll the pastry around your rolling pin so that you can lift it up without stretching it, then drape it over the tin and let it fall inside.
Ease the pastry carefully into the base and sides of the tin without stretching it, and leave it overhanging the edges. Tap the tin lightly against your work surface to settle it in. Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork to stop it from trying to rise up when in the oven (even though it will be held down by baking beans, it can sometimes lift a little).
You can use a large sheet of baking paper for lining your tart case, however I prefer to use clingfilm (the kind that is safe for use in the oven or microwave) as it is softer than paper and won't leave indents in the pastry. Place three sheets of clingfilm (or one sheet of baking paper) over the top of the pastry case, then tip in your baking beans and spread them out so they completely cover the base. Don't trim the pastry yet. Put the case into the fridge for at least one hour (or the freezer for 15 minutes) to relax it.
Pre-heat the oven to 190C / gas 5.
Remove the pastry case from the fridge and put in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes until the base has dried out and is very lightly coloured, like parchment.
Remove from the oven and lift out the clingfilm (or baking paper) and beans. Don't worry if the overhanging edges are quite brown, as you will be trimming these away after you have finished baking your tart.
Brush the inside of the pastry case with the beaten egg and put it back into the oven for another ten minutes. The inside of the pastry, and particularly the base, will now be quite golden brown and shiny from the egg glaze, which will act as a barrier so that the pastry will stay crisp when you put in the filling.
Let the pastry case cool down then you can trim away the overhanging edges.
Turn down the oven to 180°C/gas 4.
To make the filling, put the milk, cream and vanilla pod (split and seeds scraped in) in a pan, bring to a simmer (be careful not to let the mixture boil), then take off the heat and leave to infuse for at least an hour. Remove the vanilla pod.
In a bowl, mix the egg, yolk and sugar until pale and creamy, and then whisk in the cornflour. Stir in the melted butter.
Put the pan containing the milk and cream mixture back on the heat and bring slowly to the boil, whisking all the time, then turn down to a simmer for 1 minute, still whisking all the time. Take off the heat and pour onto the egg and sugar mixture, stirring well.
Pour the mixture into the tart case and bake for around 45 minutes, until the filling is firm to the touch and a deep, dark golden on top — like the top of a crème brûlée. Take out of the oven, slide off the tin, and cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
What is flan?
Flan is a very traditional dessert and is usually prepared with eggs, sugar, milk, and lemon peel as the main ingredients. All its components are necessary, but eggs are the most important ones. Without them, flan would not have that gelatinous, creamy texture.
Surprisingly, this recipe is considered one of the easiest and quickest to prepare. Not many ingredients are required, and they all are easy to find in our kitchen. Besides, everybody likes it.
Milk, cinnamon, lemon peel, fruit or chocolate are examples of the ingredients that give this sweet dish its distinctive taste.
Also, the perfect complement for flan is whipped cream, which we can get at the supermarket or we can prepare it at home.
Caramel, condensed milk and dulce de leche are also good options to add to the recipe, for they provide flavor and different textures to delight your palate.
The most popular types are coconut flan, vanilla flan, pumpkin flan, caramel flan. And there is also the option of vegan flan, which is made without eggs and is another delicious alternative.
Asian style flan is also very common. Its shape is rectangular and its preparation is also similar to pudding. Although its origin is unknown, it was very popular in Spain between the 19th and 20th centuries.
By sieving the mixture, you will remove a lot of the bubbles and also any bits of cooked egg lumps. This is the part which will give you the smooth, silky, velvety texture so don't skip it!
7. Pour the mixture into the ramekins.
See the water level. Add more water up to 2 cm high
7. Make sure your water level in the baking tin is up to 2-3 cm high. Cover the baking tin with the sheet of foil and gently transfer to the oven and let it gently cook for 45 minutes.
This method of cooking of often called Bain Marie.
Bain Marie is a term used for 'water bath'. It is used when you want to evenly cook something gently and gradually.
8. Once 45 minutes is up, remove the tray from the oven and leave as it is with the foil over it until it cools. The caramel will still be cooking gently.
9. Now, this is the hardest bit of the whole recipe. When cool, cover with some plastic wrap and leave in the fridge to chill for a minimum 3-4 hours.
10. When you are ready to serve, use a thin-bladed sharp knife and run the blade around the sides of the ramekins, taking care not to wobble or slip with the knife - this will damage the set custard inside.
11. Take a serving saucer and place over the top of the ramekin, and holding both the saucer and the ramekin, turn upside down so the saucer is on the table.
Gently lift the ramekin off. If the custard won't come out, gently tap the top, or leave for a few minutes. Gravity will win in the end and it will come out.
12. Be aware you will get caramel liquid coming out of the ramekin too, so make sure your saucer is not too shallow.
We'd love to hear from you and what you thought of our post. Did you make any changes or add some other goodies? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!