The French Flan - Custard Tart

A Home-made flan like in french bakery shops. A touch of vanilla, it's a really fresh dessert.
That's the first flan I have ever made, and I really think it was perfect... not too heavy, 
not too much flour, great colour and shape... this recipe convinced me !

I've looked in many books and magazines, finally it's Sébastien Gaudard's rcipe that I've chosen, 
But I followed others advices and tips (Françoise Bernard's) and I've added vanilla.
The book it comes from : "Le meilleur des desserts"/"The best of desserts" lacks of details...
Honestly, if you follow it word by word, you won't succeed....

Well, I already knew the tricks so I haven't had any problems, here is the detail recipe :)
Enjoy that delicious flan !

  Preparation   There is a few tricks but I explain everything carefully in the recipe

  Tasting    Amazingly good, at least as good as in the french pastry shops !

  To conclude    I'm not looking further for a flan recipe right now, I'm happy with this one :)

For a 9inch mold

For 8 people
   Il vous faut :   
cookie dough, vanilla flavoured
3 cups + 3tbsp of milk (75cL)
4 eggs
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
3,5tbsp of Maïzena (2.1oz)
- cornstarch -
1 vanilla bean, grated
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Turn the oven on at 320°F

Making the dough
Follow the recipe of pâte brisée
Add in 1 tsp of vanilla extract with the water
Place some parchement paper in your pie-mold so you can unmold it easily afterwards.

Flatten you dough (2mm) place it in your mold, pressing gently on the edges.
Use a rolling pin to remove the excess
- roll toward the exterior of the mold -
Create an alluminium circle so the dough won't go down. 
Do that only if the edges are vertical like mines.

Put in the oven 15 minutes
Set aside at room temperature.

Put the oven on at 375°F

Prepare the vanilla bean
Open he bean in half, remove the seeds and set them aside for another recipe.

Doing the pastry cream
Bring the milk to a boil with 1tbsp from the sugar in a saucepan
- putting sugar avoids milk burning/sticking on the sides -
In the meanwhile, whisk the eggs with what's left of sugar. Stirr in the maizena until homogeneous.
- that's quick -

When the milk simmers, put in the vanilla bean and pour the half of it on the previous batter, whisking !
Whisk for 15seconds and put it all back in the saucepan at medium heat, whisk well.
Leave it 2 to 3 more minutes, whisking continuously especially in the corners of the sauce pan !
It will thicken quickly. Remove from the stove and pour in a bowl. 
You have made a french pastry cream :)
Remove the vanilla beam, and beat with an electric beater 1 minute at low speed.

Pour the cream in the mold, flatten the top.
Put in the oven 45 to 50 minutes in the middle of the oven until real golden on the top.

- it's alive ! -
- After cooling down, it flattens and creates a thin layer of dough :) -

Let it cool down at room temperature, 
then refrigerate at least 3 hours
Serve cold !


  1. oh yes. this does look like the real thing. I've had so many failures with other recipes that I'd just about lost hope of having one on this side of the Atlantic. Can't wait to try it.

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I have been searching the real flan recipe for a year but I don't find any site (e.g. allrecipes.com) provides this recipe in English.
    By the way, I really love your blog. Your recipes and ingredients look really simple. :)

  3. Can we substitute the vanilla bean with vanilla extract? If yes, how much would we need? For some reasons I'm having a hard time finding vanilla bean.

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      Yes you can, replace with 3/4tsp vanilla extract... it should do it !
      Vanilla bean are at Whole Foods... maybe also at Safeway.

    2. Thank you so much. I live in the country side in Georgia so the only store I have available is Wal-Mart. Last time I checked they didn't have it but I hope it taste the same, I'm pregnant and have been craving for "real" flan so I'm crossing my fingers.