As a child I didn’t like flan. It was too slippery and wobbly for me. Today I really like it. I like Flan, Crème Caramel, Crème Brûlée. And Crème Brûlée really works well. But as I tried to cook Flan some weeks ago, I wasn’t very successful. The caramel just didn’t want to caramelize. Then it didn’t wanted to harden in the moulds. I was really disappointed. And the worst thing was, I didn’t know why! I even do not know it today. I looked up several cook books and blogs, but they weren’t a helping hand.
As I looked through the blogs, some unknown, some of my favourites, I discovered something called Flan Tart on Aran’s blog. I’ve never tried something like this, although we spend a lot of holidays in Spain. Also I read, that the tart is somehow popular in Spain. Now I know why!
I infused my Flan Tart only with vanilla beans, because I wanted to get as near as possible to the original Flan. I think it worked. Of course, you can’t expect a Flan. But a Flan formed in a tart, with a taste almost as Flan and a bit of the texture. Just no caramel. That was just the right thing for me, as I remember my caramel experiences.
The tart looks like a lot of work, but it is not. You need to make a pastry crust (choose your favourite one or use the recipe I recommend below) and then the filling, which is no magic art. I recommend to bake this tart in a small spring form. I used a 20 cm one.
Be careful in the last minutes of baking. My tart burned a bit on the surface. But luckily the burned parts could be easily peeled off (maybe you see it in the picture below, that there’s a part of the surface, that is out of harmony with the rest).
adapted from Cannelle et Vanille
yields: one 20 cm tart
250 g flour
200 g butter at room temperature
100 g sugar
pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
flour for rolling the dough
1 egg yolk
500 ml milk
65 g corn starch
1 vanilla bean, cut in halves and seeds scraped out
45 g blond cane sugar
Whisk together the butter, sugar and the salt with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer. Add the egg yolks and whisk again. Add the flour by degrees, until it is all incorporated and you have a smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic foil and chill at least for an hour or until ready to use.
Heat the milk with both the vanilla seeds and pod in a pot, until boiling. Remove from the heat, cover and let infuse for at least 20 minutes. Remove the pods.
Preheat the oven to 200° C.
Roll out the dough and line the spring form with it. Prick the bottom with a fork.
Beat the egg and the yolk with the sugar together in a bowl. Add the cornstarch and continue beating. Add the warm milk in a small stream and whisk. Transfer the cream to the pot again and bring it to a boil while stirring. The cream thickens. Remove from the heat.
Pour the cream in the crust and level the surface. Bake for 10 minutes at 200° C. Then turn down the heat to 180° C and bake for about 30 minutes, until the surface is golden.
Let it cool, before eating.