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This dessert or afternoon treat at “gouter” or tea time is a part of my childhood. It is very quick to put together and takes only about 40 minutes to bake. I always make this sweet dessert with a pâte sablée. That is the difference between a Flan and a Flan Parisien. A Flan does not have a crust or base at all, the mixture is poured directly into the tart pan, whereas a Flan Parisien has a shortcrust pastry. You can make your own pastry or use a store bought pastry. This sweet dessert is simple to make, the texture is thick and smooth at the same time and the skin on the top of the Flan is a lovely contrast.


Serves 8



  • 3 cups (750 ml) milk
  • 1 cup (250 g) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks



Preheat the oven to 200 °C / 400 °F
Grease a 23 cm / 9 ” loose bottomed tart pan and set aside
In a saucepan, bring milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds to a boil
Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes
In a bowl, dissolve cornstarch in cream with a whisk
Add egg yolks and whole egg
Slowly incorporate into infused milk
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon
Remove from heat
Let cool
Pour cooled custard into crust (store bought or see below)
Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until custard is only slightly wobbly
Set the oven to broil and caramelize for about 5 minutes or until surface of custard is nicely brown
Remove from oven
Let cool for several hours in the refrigerator



1 1/2 cups (375 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 g) sugar
1/4 teaspoon  salt
3/4 cup  cold unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup milk
1 egg yolk

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and pulse a few seconds at a time until it is the size of peas. Add milk and egg yolk and pulse until a ball begins to form. Shape into a disc with your hands.
On a floured work surface, roll out pastry and line a 23 cm (9 inch) in diameter loose-bottomed tart pan.  Place in the freezer for 15 minutes or 30 minutes in the refrigerator.