My French Custard Flan

At the weekend I decided to make a special kind of custard tart, a Flan Patissier. I have attempted this feat before, from scratch with a proper recipe from a well-renowned chef but although it tasted OK, it didn’t look so good. The custard had split and all the dense stuff had fallen to the bottom. It looked a bit wrong.

It’s not the first time it has happened; my pear flan went this way too. I suspect the oven is the culprit but I can’t prove it for sure. It might be me. But anyway, I decided to put it all behind me, face my fear and make another custard flan. See, I wanted to treat my husband, who has got to be the most dedicated flan taster I have ever met. He hasn’t got much of a sweet tooth, but my goodness does he like flan! He will sample them everywhere. When we were in France over the summer, he had a flan slice at every motorway ‘aire de repos’ we stopped at, and had one pretty much in every town too. He tried the plain ones, the fruit ones and the caramelised ones. He’d had three slices of the stuff before we had even gone past Paris (and we were going to Carcassonne way down south. Incidentally Carcassonne is a must-see for anyone remotely interested in history, it has a medieval walled city, which looks AMAZING)!

So I made the flan.

My husband peered at it and tasted it, and exclaimed: “You’ve done so well this time, it’s exactly like the ones from the shops!” This is true, it’s pretty much the same, both in looks and taste. Which is when I started to worry. Because I CHEATED. I confessed and broke my husband’s heart that no, I haven’t had a revelation on how to make the perfect flan. I haven’t mastered the eccentricities of my oven, and haven’t found the right technique for blending the ingredients into a flan masterpiece.

I used the powdered version. And it worked. In fact, it’s perfect. Just like in the shops.