Flan parisien, also known as flan pâtissier, is a vanilla egg custard tart, with a crisp/crumbly pâte brisee base. I first discovered it on the blog Zen Can Cook about five years ago, through Tastespotting, where I used to find many favorite recipes which led to now-favorite blogs. If you’re a fan of creme brûlée, pastry cream, or any similar rich vanilla custard/pudding type of dessert, this one’s for you.
The filling is satiny and solid, with a sturdy crust, which means that the finished product cuts like a dream. It’s fairly easy to assemble; the hardest part is waiting for it to cool and set before sampling. I mentioned this recipe in an earlier post, where I made the traditional vanilla custard, but this time I decided to add Earl Grey tea leaves and meyer lemon zest to the custard. There is almost never a time where that flavor combination doesn’t make my heart beat a little faster, and so, I couldn’t resist experimenting. It was a success! Next time I might try putting the tea leaves into the dough instead, with more lemon in the custard itself – and if you want the custard to remain its traditional color, as shown below, that would be your best bet.
To being with, you’ll want to assemble your pie crust, give it time to chill, and have it set in the pie plate all before you start making the custard. The custard comes together in under five minutes (plus cooling time) so you don’t want to be scrambling.
Pate Brisee Dough
Makes one 8-9 inch pie crust
from Zen Can Cook’s Flan Patissier recipe
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons milk
Sift the flour into a bowl or onto a piece of parchment and set aside. In a medium-large mixing bowl, beat the butter with a spatula or wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Then add the salt, sugar, and egg yolk, mixing until well combined. Add the milk and mix again. Finally, add the flour, and gather the dough together with your hands until it becomes smooth and manageable. Flatten into a disk, wrap with cling film, and refrigerate for at least an hour. When you’re ready to use it, let it rest at room temp for about five minutes before rolling – otherwise it may be too brittle and start to crack. Butter the pie tin, line with the crust, and refrigerate until ready to fill. You don’t need to blind bake this dough, as it doesn’t seem to take on much moisture from the filling.
Earl Grey and Meyer Lemon Flan Parisien
- 3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 eggs
- 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean (seeds only)
- Tea leaves from 2 teabags Earl Grey
- zest of two meyer lemons (or regular if unavailable)
- apricot jam for glazing (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, lemon zest, powdered sugar, and cornstarch.
- In a medium/large pot, bring the milk, tea leaves, water, and vanilla to a simmer.
- Add the sugar/eggs mixture to the hot milk in a steady stream while whisking steadily. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens and starts to boil. Remove from the heat.
- Let the custard cool for 10 minutes before pouring it in the pie dish.
- Bake for 1 hour, until set and brown on top. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Glaze with apricot jam. Enjoy with hot cocoa, coffee, or, of course, Earl Grey!
Till next time,
Pies & Pinups