It’s hard not to come across a bakery in Paris that doesn’t sell large slices of the popular Flan Parisien (also known as flan pâtissier) with its delicious thick custard browned on top and a buttery pâte brisée on the bottom. This flan couldn’t be any simpler, quicker or delicious and can only get better after spending the night in the refrigerator.
You could think of it as the “not-so-distant” cousin of the delicious Portuguese egg custard tart so popular in Portugal and all over Asia under the code name Tan-Ta. Ah, the calories! After coming back to New York i knew the craving would get worse. And get worse, it did! At least that’s how i interpret the eye twitch every time i catch a glimpse of the dry pignoli cookies in the window of my local bakery.
So for medical reason i had to make my own version, to see if at last, it would take care of that damn eye twitch. I couldn’t resist scrapping half a tahitian vanilla bean into the custard but consider that ‘over the top’ for this simple and humble flan. I, or even you could get slapped by my grandmother for it. So add it discretely, and at your own risk.
As for my medical craving, i think i temporarily took care of it. Not sure how long the relief will last though.
In the meantime, enjoy!
- Serves 8
For the pate brisee:
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons milk
For the flan patissier:
- 3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 eggs
- 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean (seeds only)
- apricot jam for glazing (optional)
For the pate brisee:
- Sift the flour in a large bowl.
- In another bowk, mix the butter with a spatula to a creamy consistency. Add the salt, sugar and egg yolk and mix well. Add the milk and mix.
- Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix with your hands until you obtain a dough with smooth consistency.
- Wrap it in cling wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
For the flan Parisien:
- Butter an 8-inch wide & 1 1/4-inch tall pie dish.
- Roll out the pate brisee and line the pie dish. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 350’F
- Combine the milk, water and vanilla in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, the sugar and the cornstarch. Add the mixture to the hot milk in a steady stream while whisking. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens and starts to boil. Remove from the heat.
- Let the custard cool for 10 minutes before pouring it in the pie dish.
- Bake for 1 hour, until set and brown on top. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Glaze with apricot jam.