Parisian Flan

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With a velvety custard filling and pâte brisée base, Parisian flan is an essential recipe in French cuisine—and for good reason! Our flan is authentically Parisian, so every ingredient counts. For the flakiest crust, we use Président® butter, our test kitchen’s official butter. Président®’s high fat content lends melt-in-your-mouth texture and a rich, buttery flavor that makes this one of our all-time favorite French desserts. 

It’s important to tent the crust during the last few minutes of baking so you get that beautifully browned top without burning the crust. Let the flan chill overnight so it achieves the subtle jiggle it’s famous for. Learn the rich history of the Parisian Flan in our 2019 March/April issue!

Parisian Flan
 
Makes 1 (9-inch) flan
Ingredients
  • 3¾ cups (900 grams) whole milk
  • 1¼ cups (300 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • 1¼ cups (250 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 5 large eggs (250 grams)
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams)
  • ½ cup (64 grams) cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) orange liqueur*
  • Pâte Brisée (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons (40 grams) apricot jam, warmed and strained
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) water
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, heat milk, cream, ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, and vanilla bean and reserved seeds over medium heat until steaming and an instant-read thermometer registers 180°F (82°C).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolk, cornstarch, and remaining 1 cup (200 grams) sugar until smooth. Slowly add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to pan, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and registers 185°F (85°C) on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; stir in orange liqueur. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan; line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  4. Let Pâte Brisée stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll Pâte Brisée into a 14-inch circle. Transfer to prepared pan, pressing into bottom and up sides. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  5. Trim dough to a height of 2 inches inside of pan. Pour filling into prepared crust, smoothing top with an offset spatula.
  6. Bake until crust is golden and top of custard is mostly set but still jiggly, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove flan from oven, and increase oven temperature to broil. Cover crust with foil, pressing foil down into pan to reach crust. (The custard should remain exposed.) Return flan to oven, and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on desired level of char. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, stir together warmed jam and 1 teaspoon (5 grams) water. Brush top of flan with jam mixture. Serve immediately
Notes
*We used Grand Marnier.

 
Pâte Brisée
 
Makes 1 (9-inch) crust
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (11 grams) packed orange zest (about 2 large oranges)
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) cold unsalted butter*, cubed
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) whole milk
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams)
Instructions
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, sugar, zest, and salt; pulse until combined. Add cold butter, and pulse until mixture is crumbly, about 5 pulses. Add milk and egg yolk, pulsing until a dough forms. Turn out dough, and shape into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Notes
*We used Président.

 

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