Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Madame Fleurette's Flan - Filched by Fanny from France

Fanny rather proudly tells us that she has stolen the recipe for this flan (remember do not call it a 'tart' - unless you add an 'e' and then it's French of course which is perfectly acceptable - Tarte) from a little restaurant in Northern France. I wonder if Madame Fleurette was aware of the theft, and did she mind?  Fanny makes it her Star Dish of the week, perhaps to appease Madame...

The recipe itself is really just a combination of preparation, assembly and technique. Oh and guess work. Perhaps if Fanny had asked to borrow the recipe rather than 'filching' it it would be a little more detailed. My first task is to make a sweet pastry flan case using the same method as for the savoury, again with self raising flour, but this time all butter, with egg yolks, sugar and a small flat teaspoon of powdered cinnamon. Chopping the 'paste' with knives is hard work, I may just blitz it in the food processor next time, sssssh!

Fanny instructs me to make and bake it according to one of her very helpful pic-strips as shown by Peter. I'm aware by now that if its simple, Peter is allowed to demonstrate. The 'paste' (as Fanny always calls it) is again soft and pliable, almost pillowy, and works extremely well. I of course, follow each move that Peter makes. Unfortunately Fanny, or perhaps naughty Peter, leaves out any instruction on how long to bake it for, or any temperature guide. I guess. It smells so good as it comes out the oven, that'll be the cinnamon, and looking golden and crisp. Maybe Fanny left out the instructions to test me, I think I've passed! 

Next up I need to take some of my 'very best home-made plum jam, preferly with lots of skins in'. Oh dear, I don't have any home-made plum jam, skins or not. I've never made plum jam. Fanny hasn't given me a recipe for it. Is this another test? Luckily I've spotted a simple recipe on the fabulous Blue Kitchen Bakes blog via twitter, so I get to work and create my jam, complete with all their skins, hoping that is enough. Fanny would be so proud of me pinching recipes! Thanks Madame Jen

Now I need to make some confectioners custard, which Fanny thankfully does give a recipe for, and whip up some double cream. Fanny tells me the custard is an invaluable basic for pastry cooks that we will use in many more ways in recipes to come. Lovely, I've never been able to make good custard, always too thin. I follow every step very carefully, although I don't have a double boiler pan. I improvise. This one does become very thick and looks perfect for a flan filling - Fanny tells me I can thin it down to become 'everyday' custard (but doesn't say with what) or I can flavour it with coffee or chocolate if I like, for other recipes. That's for another day, for now I need to start assembling... Custard in my cooked flan case, topped with the full-of-skins jam, then whipped cream, piped, bien sûr.

Fanny suggests I finish it off with some shavings of chocolate. I decide to use some good old-fashioned cooking chocolate for that authentic 1970's feel. The final filched flan is fetching and fabulous, well worth stealing! Merci beaucoup Madame Fleurette! 


  1. I'm not the world's biggest fan of flans but I'd be willing to try this, the cinnamon pastry sounds delicious with the plums.

    Glad you liked my quick and easy plum jam, it's obviously very versatile :)

    1. The cinnamon pastry worked really well, thanks for the Plum Jam recipe! Let me know if you do try it...