Introducing the best french custard tart: Flan Pâtissier! also referred to as Parisian Flan, this great French tart is sort of a gigantic Portuguese Tart.
It’s a flaky pastry crust filled with a wicked amount of creamy and wealthy vanilla custard that glows with a excellent bronze sheen after baking.
to mention this thing is spectacular would be the understatement of the yr. phrases fail me. It’s that true!
You can also try my recipe of Crème Brûlée – French vanilla custard I’m sure you’ll love this recipe too!
Flan Pâtissier – French Custard Tart
Flan Pâtissier is a French custard tart this is made with a pastry crust packed with vanilla custard and baked.
Also called Parisian Flan, you’ll locate it in each suburban bakery all throughout France. It blows my thoughts to understand that this pastry is so not unusual for the French that to them it’s considered no huge deal as some distance as pastries cross. To this Aussie lass, it’s miles a big deal. it’s miles phenomenally appropriate. Indescribably incredible. My dessert discovery of the yr.
Given especially that it’s an extraordinary locate in Australia, i was determined to crack the recipe. With the valuable assist of a expert French pastry chef Jennifer Pogmore, I’m satisfied to file achievement!
Everybody who has attempted the 20+ versions we churned out developing the recipe has cherished it. they could’t get sufficient of it.
This is one of those recipes I’m so for my part proud of because I worked tough to perfect it and do the authentic justice. and that i’m thrilled to be sharing it with you!
About Flan Pâtissier
The custard used for Flan Pâtissier is Creme Flan Pâtissier, a wealthy and creamy vanilla custard used in lots of cakes in France. It gets its richness from egg yolks which, combined with cornflour/cornstarch, is what makes it set to a really perfect consistency such that it can be sliced smartly but melts to your mouth whilst you devour it.
Chef Jennifer Pogmore tells me there aren’t any tough regulations in France about the sort of pastry used for the Flan Pâtissier crust, it simply comes right down to the pastry chef making it. In both boulangeries (French bakeries) and patisseries, Pâte Sucrée (French sweet tart crust) is pretty commonplace, as is shortcrust and puff pastry.
I tried them all. but for me, i’m able to’t look past puff pastry. The assessment of the satisfactory, flaky, buttery pastry with the rich creamy custard simply knocks this tart out of the park. And it appears so right too!
You’ll love how the base comes out perfectly crispy in this recipe. Here’s a couple of photos so you can inspect them closely and see for yourself!! Not a patch of sogginess in sight:
It’s even crisp enough so you can keep the slice cantilevered for your hand. that is by using design, due to the fact that’s precisely how Flan Pâtissier is meant to be eaten!
Custard for Flan Pâtissier: Creme Patissiere
The custard for Flan Pâtissier is Creme Flan Pâtissier, a creamy vanilla custard that is used in many French cakes.
While specific recipes for Creme Flan Pâtissier range depending at the supposed use (ie. baked vs now not baked; required viscosity for pouring vs piping vs filling vs spreading and so on), the base ingredients are nearly constantly the same:
- Eggs – in the main yolks, for richness and additionally to help set the custard
- Cornflour/cornstarch – For setting the custard and making it bright (regular flour makes it stupid). attention FRENCH READERS: Do not use yellow cornflour, use white cornstarch!
- Vanilla beans – For a lovely vanilla flavour. I used vanilla beans from Vanilla Bean residence (Australian on line save) – plump and packed with a generous quantity of vanilla seeds! Vanilla bean paste is a superb replacement right here.
- Sugar – For sweetness. but no longer excessive sweetness! one of the things i adore approximately French desserts is that they are far less sweet than other standard Western desserts.
- Milk – The liquid for custard. a few recipes additionally use cream, for delivered richness. I choose 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 each egg and cornflour to set it. There’s a perfect balance of the two so that it will reap the right richness and set consistency so the tart can be reduce into neat slices, but the custard melts in your mouth while you devour it. I attempted quite some mixtures earlier than touchdown on what I think is the best balance!
Infuse Milk With Vanilla
- Heat milk with 1/4 cup of sugar*, vanilla seeds and the leftover vanilla pods (see video for how I scrape the seeds out). Bring it to just below a boil. As soon as you see the milk starting to foam and rise, remove it straight from the stove.TIP: Keep an eye on it as the milk starts to get hot because milk loves to boil over quite quickly!* Adding a bit of sugar in this step helps to ensure the milk doesn’t scald on the base.
- Infuse – Place the lid on (to prevent a skin from forming and loss of volume through evaporation) and leave for 10 minutes. This gives the milk time to be infused with the vanilla flavour as well as to cool slightly which eliminates any risk of hot milk accidentally scrambling the eggs in the next steps.
Eggs and Cornflour Mixture (Thickening)
- Eggs and cornflour (cornstarch) – Whisk the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar collectively until blended. Then whisk the cornflour in. It’s fine to whisk eggs and sugar first before including cornflour else you emerge as with a flurry of flour!
- Slowly add half milk (tempering) – even as whisking, slowly pour in half of the milk. simply whisk until blended.
- Don’t worry, there’s no risk of by chance scrambling the eggs with the recent milk because it cooled within the 10 minutes we left it to infuse with the vanilla! however we nevertheless temper the mixtures in this step as an extra layer of safety.
Cook Custard to Thicken
- Thicken custard on range – Pour the egg/milk mixture into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk mixture. Then place it on a medium-low stove (or low, in case your stove is strong), whisking continuously however leisurely, to ensure the bottom doesn’t seize. at the start the mixture may be watery however after about 2 to three mins because the it begins to heat up, you may abruptly sense the custard beginning to thicken. the sort of pleasurable second!!
- Big lazy bubbles – once the custard starts offevolved thickening, the following aspect you are seeking out is huge, fat lazy bubbles shooting up on the floor which shows the custard is thick sufficient. Pause stirring for some seconds to test when you have bubbles (see video).
- 20 seconds whisking – after you see the lazy bubbles, keep whisking for every other 20 seconds at the stove, then cast off it from the heat.
- Thick and creamy custard! This picture indicates how the custard have to look at this level: Thick and creamy, it must go away ribbons on the surface while drizzled but nonetheless be pourable (see beneath for right visuals, or video).
Butter, Straining and Cooling
- Improve with butter – this is a FRENCH custard tart, so it need to come as no marvel that we’re sneaking some butter in right here to enrich the custard!
- Strain – skip the custard through a satisfactory mesh strainer. that is to remove any larger chunks of vanilla that were loosened from the beans.
- Press thru all the custard and be sure to scrape the bottom of the strainer well. Then lick that spatula easy. yes that’s an preparation – don’t waste a drop of that precious custard!
- Custard thickness – this is what the custard should seem like at this stage. you can tell by using looking on the floor how the custard is thick and creamy.
- Cover – Smooth the surface of the custard (I use a small offset spatula) then cover with cling wrap contacting the surface. Doing this prevents a skin from forming on the custard (nobody wants wisps of skin in their otherwise silky smooth custard!) as well as condensation, which will dilute the richness of the custard.
- Cool – Let the custard cool on the counter (about 3 to 4 hours) before putting it in the fridge to fully chill.12 – 24 hours in fridge recommended – Refrigerating the custard overnight will allow for optimal flavour development (a pro tip from professional French pastry chef!). But if you are in a hurry, you can proceed with the recipe as soon as the custard has cooled to room temperature, ie. skip the fridge time. To be honest, I don’t think most people will be able to tell the difference. But I wanted to share this recipe made the proper way!
Custard done, now it’s on to the pastry!
2. Flan Pâtissier Puff Pastry Crust
As mentioned at the beginning, there’s no hard and fast rule approximately what crust need to be used for a conventional Flan Pâtissier, although Pâte Sucrée (French sweet tart crust) and puff pastry seem to be the most not unusual. For me, i can’t move past puff pastry for the delicious contrast of buttery, flaky pastry and the creamy, silky custard.
nowadays, save-offered puff pastry is without a doubt quite proper nice. Even the standard manufacturers we discover at grocery stores here in Australia which include Pampas are perfectly suitable.
My best rule but is it must be butter puff pastry. Butter has a good deal higher flavour and puffs up better than the less expensive margarine/oil-based puff pastry! It’s honestly well worth the extra coin.
Best Pan: Springform Cake Pan With No Base
The best way to make the crust for Flan Pâtissier using puff pastry is to use a springform pan WITHOUT the base. We’re going to bake it directly on the tray which is the trick that ensures the base is 100% crispy once filled with custard – this is a big part of the awesomeness that is Flan Pâtissier!
Note: Professional pâtissiers and pastry chefs use tall tart rings which are purpose-built rings without a base. A springform pan ring works just as well for this recipe
Cut Base and Sides
TIP: paintings with puff pastry that has thawed just sufficient that it’s still stiff but achievable, and simply pliable enough to line the springform pan. this is for ease of handling for this tart which has surprisingly excessive facets. fully thawed puff pastry = floppy and sticky = impossible to line the tin aspects and very messy to healthy the bottom in.
- Cut base the usage of the internal of the springform pan as a manual. remove extra pastry but store IT in case we need to do emergency patch u.s.later! Then place the base within the freezer till required.
- Reduce facets – cut three 5.five x 25 cm (2.15 x 10″) strips out of a sheet of puff pastry, making sure it is still as frozen as workably feasible so it doesn’t flop while you line the sides.
TIP: using an extended knife, reduce instantly down into the pastry instead of reducing by using dragging the knife alongside the pastry. this will preserve the superbly flaky layers at the rim of the crust, like pictured on this publish.
- Line springform pan with baking paper – Grease a 20cm / eight″ springform pan ring with butter then line the inner sides with baking paper reduce to size. area the hoop on a sheet of baking paper sitting a plate. this is for ease of dealing with because we aren’t using the springform pan base. Baking the puff pastry shell directly on a tray guarantees the base stays one hundred% crispy as soon as full of the custard.
Baking paper actually isn’t important, you may simply butter or spray the perimeters with oil. however, the puff pastry tends to appearance extra rustic (ie. flaky rather than neater) if you bypass the baking paper.
- Line aspects with pastry – Line the internal aspects of the springform pan with the pastry, overlapping by 1cm and using water to seal. you may want to trim the 0.33 strip so it fits.
keep in mind, work with stiff but simply-pliable puff pastry else the edges will flop!
Press seams – At this degree, simply press the seams; we will seal it properly later. proper now, we want to work rapid whilst the pastry is still as frozen as feasible.
- Place base in by gathering it up slightly so it doesn’t drag down the sides. Adjust as needed to centre it as best you can. The circumference of the base will overlap and go up the sides ever so slightly, which is the perfect insurance policy to avoid custard leakage.
- Seal seams – Use the back of a teaspoon to press the base into the corners, then to “smear” the now-thawing puff pastry to seal it. Do this for the base and the sides.
Prick and Freeze
- Prick base with a fork about 30 times. This helps to stop the base from puffing up when we do the blind bake.
- Freeze – Cover with cling wrap (with tart still sitting on the plate) then freeze for at least 2 hours. The purpose of freezing is to help reduce shrinkage when blind baking and also to help stop the tall puff pastry sides sliding down as it cooks.The bonus is that the firmed crust doesn’t get all scratched up and dented when we line with paper and fill with baking beads to blind bake!
Blind Baking The Crust
Blind baking is an essential step to ensure that the crust bakes up nice and crispy. Nobody wants a soggy crust with their custard tart!!
- Bake with baking beads 25 minutes – The first bake is weighed down with baking beads to set the pastry sides so they don’t flop inwards. We bake in a hot oven of 220°C/430·F (200°C fan) which works better when baking from a frozen state.Filling with baking beads – Remove the fully frozen crust from the freezer. Tear off 2 x 60cm / 2 foot-long sheets of baking paper (parchment paper) then scrunch them up in your hands. This makes it easier to fit inside this taller than usual pastry.Lay one sheet of paper on top of the other but perpendicular to it (ie. in a “X”) inside the crust shell. Then fill with baking beads or dried beans* right up to 1cm below the rim of the pastry. Gently but firmly press the beads down and outwards to ensure it is pressed into the corners and against the springform pan walls to help ensure the pastry sides set properly without flopping inwards.No baking beads? Large dried beans work almost as well. They do not conduct heat as well as purpose-made baking beads and they are a little lighter. So the pastry does shrink a little more but it’s not significant. Avoid using rice, lentils or other small dried things that other recipes say are ok to use. Their small size means they pack together too densely, blocking heat from getting through to the inside of the pastry so the sides don’t set properly. (A lesson I learned the hard way!)
- Remove baking beads – After 25 minutes, remove the crust from the oven. Grip the paper overhangs and lift, taking the baking beads with the paper. Do this step slowly so you can check to see if the sides start to flop in (eg if your oven runs a bit cool). If they do, leave the baking beads in and bake for a further 5 minutes.Take care during this step – nobody wants sizzling hot little beads bouncing all over their kitchen floor … sounds terribly dangerous! I pour the beads straight into a metal bowl to cool.
- Bake 5 minutes uncovered – Once the baking beads are removed, return crust to oven for a further 5 minutes.
- Cool 10 minutes – Remove the crust from the oven. You will see that the surface is dry but the pastry is still a bit undercooked. That’s exactly what we want – it’s partially cooked, ie. Cooked enough so it won’t go soggy once the custard is poured in but undercooked enough so we don’t end up with a burnt, dry pastry crust.Cool for 10 minutes. Again, this is just an extra crispy-base insurance policy.
Baking the Flan Pâtissier
We are on the home stretch here! So close are we to be able to taste the magic that is Flan Pâtissier!
- Fill with custard – remove the chilled custard from the fridge and whisk to loosen. Then fill the pastry crust. Fill to 1cm / zero.4″ underneath the rim else it will overflow whilst it bakes.
- Leftover custard? The recipe makes the right quantity of custard assuming you had no pastry shrinkage or the edges did not slouch whilst you blind baked your pastry crust. If yours did decrease a piece – and for the majority, I expect that it will – then you could have custard leftover. ideas to use up: as a popular-reason dolloping custard on whatever; make mini custard brownies the use of puff pastry scraps (20 minute bake at 180°C/350°F); fill ramekins and bake; or truly eat with a spoon!
- easy custard floor the use of an offset spatula or spoon.
- Egg yolk – Brush the floor lightly with egg yolk, taking care not to break the floor. that is how we get that terrifi, signature bronzing at the floor of the Flan Pâtissier.
- Bake sixty five mins, fridge 6 hours – Bake 65 minutes at two hundred°C/390°F (one hundred eighty°C fan), rotating the tray at forty five mins. The custard will still be VERY wobbly, borderline watery. believe! it’s going to set when refrigerated.
- Cool at the counter for four to five hours, then loosely cover and refrigerate for 6 hours+ inside the springform pan. It’s critical to completely cool to room temperature before refrigerating or condensation will compromise the crispiness of the puff pastry.
- And with that, we are executed!! Time to eat this custardy masterpiece!!
Phew! I recognize this become a huge knowledge dump. however as I defined earlier, I desired to provide sufficient statistics so even much less experienced bakers can experience assured sufficient to make it.
And honestly? Having made this over 20 times in the previous few months, i will say this for sure: The most effective aspect which can clearly cross incorrect is that the custard doesn’t set so it gloops everywhere when you cut into it. The most effective way which can happen is if you mis-degree the custard ingredients, in case your oven runs cooler than the temperature dial says (I propose you operate an oven thermometer when you have any doubts) or if you do not refrigerate the cooked Flan Patissier to allow it to set.
Even lamentable pastry work may be salvaged from ability custard leakage troubles by using plugging holes with leftover pastry!
As for the whole lot else, it’s a stroll inside the park. good enough positive, your pastry shell would possibly look a little more rustic than mine. I really had my honest percentage of more rustic-searching crusts in this adventure! but that doesn’t have an effect on flavour or the ingesting enjoy at all.
And that, my friends, is pretty much all i can think of that could probable cross wrong.
So surely, don’t allow the period of the recipe card daunt you. The detail is there to guide you through this. it might take you longer than you expect. but I promise, it clearly isn’t always that hard.
And it’s so, so well worth it!