Introducing the world’s finest custard tart: Flan Pâtissier! also called Parisian Flan, this brilliant French tart is sort of a large Portuguese Tart. It’s a flaky pastry crust packed with a wicked quantity of creamy and rich vanilla custard that glows with a gorgeous bronze sheen after baking.
to say this element is surprising will be the understatement of the year. phrases fail me. It’s that excellent!
Flan Pâtissier – French Custard Tart
Flan Pâtissier is a French custard tart this is made with a pastry crust full of vanilla custard and baked.
additionally referred to as Parisian Flan, you’ll discover it in every suburban bakery all throughout France. It blows my thoughts to recognise that this pastry is so not unusual for the French that to them it’s considered no huge deal as some distance as pastries move. To this Aussie lass, it’s miles a massive deal. it’s miles phenomenally appropriate. Indescribably outstanding. My dessert discovery of the yr.
Given in particular that it’s a rare locate in Australia, i was determined to crack the recipe. With the valuable assist of a professional French pastry chef Jennifer Pogmore, I’m satisfied to report achievement!
all people who has tried the 20+ variations we churned out growing the recipe has cherished it. they can’t get sufficient of it.
this is one of these recipes I’m so in my opinion proud of because I worked tough to perfect it and do the unique justice. and that i’m thrilled to be sharing it with you!
About Flan Pâtissier
The custard used for Flan Pâtissier is Creme Patissiere, a wealthy and creamy vanilla custard used in lots of desserts in France. It receives its richness from egg yolks which, mixed with cornflour/cornstarch, is what makes it set to an excellent consistency such that it may be sliced well however melts to your mouth when you devour it.
Chef Jennifer Pogmore tells me there are no difficult policies in France approximately the kind of pastry used for the Flan Pâtissier crust, it just comes all the way down to the pastry chef making it. In each boulangeries (French bakeries) and patisseries, Pâte Sucrée (French candy tart crust) is quite common, as is shortcrust and puff pastry.
I tried all of them. but for me, i will’t look beyond puff pastry. The evaluation of the best, flaky, buttery pastry with the rich creamy custard simply knocks this tart out of the park. And it appears so desirable too!
You’ll love how the bottom comes out perfectly crispy on this recipe. here’s more than one snap shots so you can investigate them closely and see for yourself!! no longer a patch of sogginess in sight:
It’s even crisp sufficient so you can keep the slice cantilevered in your hand. that is by design, due to the fact that’s exactly how Flan Pâtissier is supposed to be eaten!
Heads up: This is a long post!
At the same time as the idea of making Flan Pâtissier sounds deceptively smooth – blind bake a pant pastry crust, fill it with custard and bake it! – the devil is in the detail. This in particular applies to people who aren’t so confident at baking, or are custard first-timers.
To this stop I’m sharing quite loads of facts in this put up, to make sure success for you whether or not you are an antique hand or new to baking.
in case you are a capable baker, experience unfastened to bypass all of the detail beneath and jump right to the recipe or recipe video!
Custard for Flan Pâtissier: Creme Patissiere
The custard for Flan Pâtissier is Creme Patissiere, a creamy vanilla custard that is used in many French cakes.
at the same time as specific recipes for Creme Patissiere range relying at the meant use (ie. baked vs not baked; required viscosity for pouring vs piping vs filling vs spreading and many others), the bottom elements are almost continually the identical:
Eggs – basically yolks, for richness and also to assist set the custard.
- Leftover egg whites – here’s my list of what I do with them and all my egg white recipes may be determined on this recipe collection.
- Cornflour/cornstarch – For placing the custard and making it bright (everyday flour makes it dull). attention FRENCH READERS: Do no longer use yellow cornflour, use white cornstarch!
- Vanilla beans – For a beautiful vanilla flavour. I used vanilla beans from Vanilla Bean house (Australian on-line store) – plump and full of a beneficiant quantity of vanilla seeds! Vanilla bean paste is a superb substitute right here.
- Sugar – For sweetness. however now not immoderate sweetness! one of the matters i adore about French cakes is that they are some distance less sweet than different common Western desserts.
- Milk – The liquid for custard. a few recipes also use cream, for added richness. I pick the mouthfeel of milk enriched with butter.
- Butter – As above, to enrich the custard.
1. How to make the custard for Flan Pâtissier
The custard for Flan Pâtissier makes use of both egg and cornflour to set it. There’s a really perfect balance of the 2 so one can achieve the proper richness and set consistency so the tart can be reduce into neat slices, but the custard melts in your mouth whilst you eat it. I tried quite a few combinations before landing on what I suppose is the precise stability!
INFUSE MILK WITH VANILLA
- warmness milk with 1/4 cup of sugar*, vanilla seeds and the leftover vanilla pods (see video for how I scrape the seeds out). carry it to just underneath a boil. As soon as you notice the milk beginning to foam and rise, do away with it directly from the range.
- TIP: keep an eye on it as the milk begins to get hot due to the fact milk likes to boil over pretty quick!
- * adding a piece of sugar on this step helps to make certain the milk doesn’t scald on the bottom.
- Infuse – location the lid on (to save you a pores and skin from forming and lack of volume thru evaporation) and go away for 10 minutes. This offers the milk time to be infused with the vanilla flavour in addition to to chill barely which gets rid of any hazard of warm milk by chance scrambling the eggs inside the next steps.
EGGS AND CORNFLOUR MIXTURE (THICKENING)
- Eggs and cornflour (cornstarch) – Whisk the egg yolks, entire egg and sugar together till combined. Then whisk the cornflour in. It’s great to whisk eggs and sugar first before including cornflour else you emerge as with a flurry of flour!
- Slowly upload 1/2 milk (tempering) – whilst whisking, slowly pour in half the milk. just whisk till blended.
- Don’t worry, there’s no hazard of accidentally scrambling the eggs with the recent milk as it cooled within the 10 mins we left it to infuse with the vanilla! however we nonetheless temper the combinations in this step as an extra layer of safety.
COOK CUSTARD TO THICKEN
- Thicken custard on range – Pour the egg/milk combination into the saucepan with the final warm milk aggregate. Then vicinity it on a medium-low range (or low, in case your range is strong), whisking continuously but leisurely, to make sure the base doesn’t capture. at the beginning the combination can be watery however after about 2 to 3 mins as the it starts offevolved to warmth up, you may feel the custard starting to thicken. such a enjoyable moment!!
- big lazy bubbles – as soon as the custard starts thickening, the next element you’re looking for is massive, fats lazy bubbles doping up at the surface which suggests the custard is thick enough. Pause stirring for a few seconds to test when you have bubbles (see video).
- 20 seconds whisking – after you see the lazy bubbles, hold whisking for another 20 seconds on the range, then cast off it from the heat.
- Thick and creamy custard! This image shows how the custard must have a look at this degree: Thick and creamy, it have to depart ribbons on the floor when drizzled however still be pourable (see underneath for correct visuals, or video).
BUTTER, STRAINING AND COOLING
- enhance with butter – this is a FRENCH custard tart, so it ought to come as no wonder that we’re sneaking a few butter in here to complement the custard!
- strain – skip the custard via a fine mesh strainer. this is to put off any larger chunks of vanilla that had been loosened from the beans.
- Press via all the custard and be sure to scrape the bottom of the strainer properly. Then lick that spatula easy. yes that’s an guidance – don’t waste a drop of that treasured custard!
- Custard thickness – that is what the custard ought to appear to be at this level. you can tell via looking on the floor how the custard is thick and creamy.
- cowl – clean the floor of the custard (i take advantage of a small offset spatula) then cowl with hold wrap contacting the floor. Doing this prevents a pores and skin from forming on the custard (nobody desires wisps of pores and skin of their in any other case silky clean custard!) as well as condensation, which will dilute the richness of the custard.
- Cool – let the custard cool at the counter (approximately three to 4 hours) before putting it inside the fridge to absolutely sit back.
- 12 – 24 hours in fridge encouraged – Refrigerating the custard in a single day will allow for greatest flavour development (a pro tip from professional French pastry chef!). however if you are in a rush, you could proceed with the recipe as soon as the custard has cooled to room temperature, ie. bypass the fridge time. To be honest, I don’t assume the majority can be in a position to tell the difference. however I desired to proportion this recipe made the right way!
Custard done, now it’s on to the pastry!
2. Flan Pâtissier puff pastry crust
As stated at the start, there’s no hard and rapid rule approximately what crust have to be used for a traditional Flan Pâtissier, though Pâte Sucrée (French candy tart crust) and puff pastry appear to be the maximum commonplace. For me, i can’t move past puff pastry for the scrumptious assessment of buttery, flaky pastry and the creamy, silky custard.
in recent times, keep-bought puff pastry is definitely quite true fine. Even the same old manufacturers we find at grocery stores right here in Australia including Pampas are perfectly proper.
My simplest rule but is it have to be butter puff pastry. Butter has tons better flavour and puffs up higher than the less expensive margarine/oil-based totally puff pastry! It’s absolutely really worth the extra coin.
BEST PAN: SPRINGFORM CAKE PAN WITH NO BASE
The pleasant manner to make the crust for Flan Pâtissier the usage of puff pastry is to apply a springform pan without the bottom. We’re going to bake it immediately on the tray that’s the trick that guarantees the base is a hundred% crispy as soon as filled with custard – this is a big part of the awesomeness that is Flan Pâtissier!
notice: expert pâtissiers and pastry cooks use tall tart rings which can be purpose-built rings without a base. A springform pan ring works simply as nicely for this recipe.
CUT BASE AND SIDES
TIP: paintings with puff pastry that has thawed just sufficient that it’s nonetheless stiff but viable, and simply pliable sufficient to line the springform pan. this is for ease of dealing with for this tart which has unusually high sides. absolutely thawed puff pastry = floppy and sticky = impossible to line the tin sides and very messy to suit the base in.
- cut base the use of the interior of the springform pan as a manual. put off excess pastry however keep IT in case we need to do emergency patch usalater! Then place the base inside the freezer until required.
- reduce aspects – cut three five.five x 25 cm (2.15 x 10″) strips out of a sheet of puff pastry, ensuring it’s far nonetheless as frozen as workably feasible so it doesn’t flop whilst you line the edges.
TIP: the usage of an extended knife, cut straight down into the pastry rather than slicing through dragging the knife alongside the pastry. this will preserve the fantastically flaky layers on the rim of the crust, like pictured on this post.
- Line springform pan with baking paper – Grease a 20cm / 8″ springform pan ring with butter then line the inner sides with baking paper reduce to length. vicinity the hoop on a sheet of baking paper sitting a plate. this is for ease of handling due to the fact we are not the use of the springform pan base. Baking the puff pastry shell at once on a tray guarantees the bottom stays 100% crispy as soon as filled with the custard.
- Baking paper really isn’t critical, you may just butter or spray the sides with oil. however, the puff pastry tends to look more rustic (ie. flaky as opposed to neater) in case you bypass the baking paper.
- Line aspects with pastry – Line the internal aspects of the springform pan with the pastry, overlapping by means of 1cm and the use of water to seal. you may want to trim the 1/3 strip so it fits.
- don’t forget, paintings with stiff but just-pliable puff pastry else the perimeters will flop!
- Press seams – At this stage, simply press the seams; we can seal it properly later. right now, we want to work fast whilst the pastry is still as frozen as feasible.
- area base in through gathering it up slightly so it doesn’t drag down the perimeters. modify as had to centre it as first-rate you may. The circumference of the bottom will overlap and go up the sides ever so slightly, which is the perfect coverage policy to keep away from custard leakage.
- Seal seams – Use the returned of a teaspoon to press the bottom into the corners, then to “smear” the now-thawing puff pastry to seal it. do that for the base and the perimeters.
PRICK AND FREEZE
- Prick base with a fork about 30 times. This facilitates to stop the base from puffing up while we do the blind bake.
- Freeze – cowl with dangle wrap (with tart still sitting at the plate) then freeze for as a minimum 2 hours. The cause of freezing is to assist lessen shrinkage while blind baking and additionally to assist forestall the tall puff pastry aspects sliding down because it cooks.
The bonus is that the firmed crust doesn’t get all scratched up and dented while we line with paper and fill with baking beads to blind bake!
Blind baking the crust
- Blind baking is an vital step to make sure that the crust bakes up nice and crispy. no one desires a soggy crust with their custard tart!!
- Bake with baking beads 25 minutes – the primary bake is weighed down with baking beads to set the pastry facets so they don’t flop inwards. We bake in a warm oven of 220°C/430·F (2 hundred°C fan) which works higher when baking from a frozen state.
- Filling with baking beads – eliminate the completely frozen crust from the freezer. Tear off 2 x 60cm / 2 foot-lengthy sheets of baking paper (parchment paper) then scrunch them up for your fingers. This makes it less complicated to suit inner this taller than ordinary pastry.
- Lay one sheet of paper on pinnacle of the opposite however perpendicular to it (ie. in a “X”) in the crust shell. Then fill with baking beads or dried beans* proper as much as 1cm below the rim of the pastry. lightly but firmly press the beads down and outwards to make certain it’s far pressed into the corners and against the springform pan walls to assist make sure the pastry facets set properly with out flopping inwards.
- No baking beads? huge dried beans paintings almost as well. They do no longer conduct heat in addition to reason-made baking beads and they may be a bit lighter. So the pastry does reduce a little extra but it’s now not sizable. keep away from the use of rice, lentils or different small dried things that different recipes say are adequate to use. Their small size means they % collectively too densely, blocking warmth from getting through to the inside of the pastry so the perimeters don’t set nicely. (A lesson I learned the tough way!)
- cast off baking beads – After 25 minutes, remove the crust from the oven. Grip the paper overhangs and raise, taking the baking beads with the paper. try this step slowly so you can take a look at to look if the perimeters begin to flop in (eg if your oven runs a chunk cool). in the event that they do, depart the baking beads in and bake for a further 5 mins.
- Take care all through this step – no one wants sizzling warm little beads bouncing all over their kitchen floor … sounds terribly risky! I pour the beads straight right into a steel bowl to cool.
Bake 5 minutes uncovered – once the baking beads are removed, go back crust to oven for a similarly 5 mins.
- Cool 10 minutes – get rid of the crust from the oven. you may see that the surface is dry however the pastry is still a piece undercooked. That’s precisely what we need – it’s partly cooked, ie. Cooked enough so it received’t cross soggy as soon as the custard is poured in however undercooked sufficient so we don’t emerge as with a burnt, dry pastry crust.
- Cool for 10 mins. again, that is simply a further crispy-base insurance pol
Baking the Flan Pâtissier
We are on the home stretch here! So close are we if you want to taste the magic that is Flan Pâtissier!
- Fill with custard – eliminate the chilled custard from the refrigerator and whisk to loosen. Then fill the pastry crust. Fill to 1cm / 0.four″ below the rim else it’ll overflow whilst it bakes.
- Leftover custard? The recipe makes the proper quantity of custard assuming you had no pastry shrinkage or the sides did no longer slouch when you blind baked your pastry crust. If yours did decrease a bit – and for the majority, I anticipate that it’s going to – then you could have custard leftover. ideas to expend: as a fashionable-reason dolloping custard on whatever; make mini custard cakes the usage of puff pastry scraps (20 minute bake at a hundred and eighty°C/350°F); fill ramekins and bake; or absolutely eat with a spoon!
- clean custard surface the usage of an offset spatula or spoon.
- Egg yolk – Brush the surface lightly with egg yolk, taking care no longer to break the floor. this is how we get that fantastic, signature bronzing at the floor of the Flan Pâtissier.
- Bake sixty five minutes, fridge 6 hours – Bake sixty five mins at 200°C/390°F (a hundred and eighty°C fan), rotating the tray at 45 minutes. The custard will still be VERY wobbly, borderline watery. believe! it’s going to set while refrigerated.
- Cool at the counter for 4 to 5 hours, then loosely cowl and refrigerate for six hours+ within the springform pan. It’s critical to absolutely cool to room temperature before refrigerating or condensation will compromise the crispiness of the puff pastry.
- And with that, we’re carried out!! Time to devour this custardy masterpiece!!
Phew! I understand this was a massive knowledge sell off. but as I explained in advance, I desired to offer sufficient statistics so even much less skilled bakers can experience assured sufficient to make it.
And actually? Having made this over 20 times in the last few months, i will say this for certain: The handiest factor that may truely move incorrect is that the custard doesn’t set so it gloops everywhere when you chop into it. The simplest way that may occur is in case you mis-measure the custard components, in case your oven runs cooler than the temperature dial says (I propose you use an oven thermometer if you have any doubts) or if you do not refrigerate the cooked Flan Patissier to allow it to set.
Even lamentable pastry work can be salvaged from capacity custard leakage troubles by plugging holes with leftover pastry!
As for the whole lot else, it’s a walk within the park. good enough certain, your pastry shell might appearance a touch greater rustic than mine. I virtually had my truthful share of greater rustic-looking crusts on this adventure! but that doesn’t affect flavour or the eating experience at all.
And that, my buddies, is just about all i can consider that could likely move incorrect.
So certainly, don’t allow the duration of the recipe card daunt you. The element is there to manual you via this. it might take you longer than you assume. but I promise, it really is not that tough.
And it is so, so really worth it!