Flan parisien Mori Yoshida - French custard tart

Creamy flan parisien recipe – classic French custard tart à la Mori Yoshida!

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Special everyday cakes and treats

Baking a flan parisien has been a dream for many years but with so many recipes the choice was overwhelming and I made none at all!  I also feared my flan would be of the scarily bright yellow rubbery kind but when we tasted Mori Yoshida’s in Paris I knew I’d found the perfect model.  It’s lighter, softer and less eggy as there aren’t many egg yolks in there.  You pre-bake the pastry case so the custard filling is in the oven a short time and stays a lovely creamy texture you can still easily slice into.  Mum was staying with me during the ‘flan prototype tests’ and enjoyed them so much she bought a cake ring to make one herself.  She’s back in London now and might be kind of waiting for me to post this recipe so I’ll … um get on with it! 🙂  I used my homemade spelt puff pastry but you can use any good-quality butter puff, rough puff or shortcrust pastry.  The ingredients and method for the filling are simple:  eggs, milk, cream, a little sugar and cornflour, with a vanilla pod for flavouring.  It’s all you need for a simply delicious French-style custard tart, a creamy flan parisien.  Tempted…?

Creamy flan parisien - French custard tart

Creamy flan parisien – French custard tart

If you’re in Paris you can visit Mori Yoshida and test this flan yourself!  Here’s a map to help you find his lovely pâtisserie.


Paris Cake Tour no.1

Here’s a close-up of his flan.

Mori Yoshida's flan and polonaise cassis

And now for how to make it!  It won’t be as dark on top but with just the same amazing flavour and texture.

THE RECIPE

The flan filling is based on Mori Yoshida’s recipe found in the French Fou de Pâtisserie magazine (issue 5, May/June 2014).  I used cornflour instead of ‘powdered custard powder’ (crème en poudre) and homemade spelt puff pastry instead of shortcrust.  You can use any kind of shortcrust or puff pastry.  There’s another version of Yoshida’s flan online where the raw pastry case and filling bake together 40 minutes – it’s an option but you’d probably lose some creaminess.  You could also replace the cream with milk or even try semi-skimmed or non-dairy milks but again it will be less creamy.  My advice would be go full-fat and have a small slice – it’s worth it!  🙂

Cake ring or tart tin size

I use a small high cake ring to imitate Mr Yoshida’s tall flan but the size is flexible.  You can use different ring or tin sizes for the quantities in my recipe, calculated with the equation:

V = πr² x h (Volume = 3.142 x radius squared x height) where radius is half your ring/tin diametre and the volume obtained with the quantities below is approximately 679.

  • 12cm (diametre) x 6cm (height)/4.72in x 2.36in – the cake ring I used, serving 4 – 6 depending on the eatersCreamy flan parisien - French custard tart
  • 14cm x 4.4cm (5.5in x 1.7in)
  • 16cm x 3.4cm (6in x 1.5in)
  • 18cm x 2.7cm (7in x 1in)
  • 20cm x 2.2cm (8in x 1in)

OR double the quantities in the recipe for a volume of 1,358 and a cake ring that is 16cm x 6.75cm or 18cm x 4.3cm (maybe you’ll have a little filling left over)

The calculations are approximate but you can’t  go wrong – too much filling means you’ll have some left to lick.  Too little and the flan tastes delicious but won’t be so photogenic, like my first prototype (oops, very thin pastry too)…

Creamy flan parisien - French custard tart

Creamy flan parisien – prototype 1

Pastry

You need about 150g – 200g/5.3oz – 7oz pastry.  Options:  homemade spelt or plain inverted puff pastry; your own standard puff or shortcrust pastry; or shop-bought all-butter pastry.

  1. Roll out pastry to around 2mm thick and 28cm x 28cm/11in x 11in wide (if using the same size cake ring as me) or large enough to fill your mould.
  2. Place the pastry over the mould and let it drop gently inside.  Transfer your mould to a baking tray lined with baking paper (or transfer before). Pastry case for flan parisien 1
  3. Delicately push in the folds with your fingers and thumbs to make a thin pastry case and keep an inch or so extra pastry going over the rim of the mould.
  4. Prick pastry all over with a fork.  With puff pastry make sure you prick loads of holes in there.Pastry case for flan parisien 2

Ham and cheese savoury puff rolls

With leftover puff pastry you can make tasty savoury pastries!  No-waste delicious snacks!  Roll out a rectangle 2mm thick and cover with thin slices of cured ham and cheese (or any filling like mincemeat and marmalade).  Roll up then cut 3-4mm slices and place on the baking tray around your tart.

Ham and cheese puff rolls and pastry case for flan parisien

Chilling

Rest in the fridge 1 hour before baking.

Baking

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/350°F (fan-assisted) or 200°C/400°F (static, non-convection oven).  
  2. Crumple up a square of baking paper into a ball then uncrumple and place in your pastry case.  Fill with porcelain baking beans or real dried beans. (Brush beaten egg yolk over your little pastry rolls).Flan parisien - baking
  3. Blind bake 20 minutes.  WHILE IN THE OVEN PREPARE YOUR CUSTARD FILLING (see below).  Take out your blind-baked pastry case (if you have ham and cheese pastry puffs on the same tray check if they’re baked – if not put back in the oven with your pastry case in step 6 until golden brown and crispy).
  4. Make sure the pastry case is firm enough to stay up (if it’s too soft put back in oven a few minutes) then remove the paper and beans.  Use a small sharp knife to cut off extra pastry and get an even but ‘rustic’ edge.Flan parisien - baking
  5. Lower oven temperature to 160°C/320°F (fan-assisted) or 180°C/355°F (static, non-convection oven).
  6. Bake pastry case another 5-8 minutes until light brown and almost completely baked.  Flan parisien - baking
  7. Increase oven temperature to 165°C/330°F (fan-assisted) or 185°C/365°F (static, non-convection oven).
  8. Fill your pastry cases (see below) and finish baking 18-22 minutes, depending on your oven and filling.  For a low tin check after 10-15 minutes.  When you move the tray the filling should jiggle a little and not be completely firm.Flan parisien - baking
  9. Cool on a wire rack at room temperature then refrigerate.

Custard filling

Creamy flan parisien - French custard tart

Creamy flan parisien

  • 275g/ml full-fat milk
  • 115g/ml whipping cream, 35% (the Spanish or French-style ‘liquid’ single cream for whipping with 35% fat – if you use UK or USA-style double or heavy creams they’ll be thicker so the mixture will need less time on the stove and possibly less cornflour thickener. Maybe thinning with a small percentage of full-fat milk is an option.)
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in two horizontally and include the seeds scraped out of it (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
  • 58g egg yolks (about 3 yolks from medium-sized free-range eggs)
  • 14g egg whites (about 1/3 of an egg white)
  • 62g/1/4 cup caster (superfine) sugar, preferably unrefined
  • 25g/2 and 1/2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) like Maizena (or powdered cream/custard powder)

Creamy flan parisien illustrated recipe

Note:  don’t simmer it too long in step 6 – it could take less than 5 minutes.  It should thicken but not too much and still be quite fluid if you want a nice creamy flan.

Eating and storing

You can eat this tart after 2 hours at room temperature – it will be very creamy.

Creamy flan parisien - French custard tart

Creamy flan parisien – French custard tart

It’s even better eaten after 4 hours in the fridge and within 20 hours.  After that the pastry gets a bit soft but it’s still delicious.

Creamy flan parisien - French custard tart

Creamy flan pâtissier

So hope you enjoyed the creamy flan parisien or pâtissier, a typical French dessert dating from the middle ages and originating from the English custard tart!  The worldwide versions are all delicious and it would be great to bake the Portuguese pasteis de nata or Chinese steamed custard tarts too.  Hmmm.  Just one more photo… 🙂

Flan parisien Mori Yoshida - French custard tart

Flan parisien Mori Yoshida – French custard tart

Leaving you with visions of custard tarts I bid you farewell dear readers!  Hope you’re having a lovely week with some happy baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x

 

 

 

 

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Baking on Sundays with my French mum was a lovely part of my childhood. Later I experimented with baking books or internet recipes and did the pâtisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Still trying out new recipes and inventing cakes with influences from all around the world, including some healthy ones! Yes, love cakes!!! :)

21 thoughts on “Creamy flan parisien recipe – classic French custard tart à la Mori Yoshida!”

  1. Lovely recipe, Lili. Very thorough. Your notes on cream or milk, bought or home made pastry brought back memories of a cake recipe I once gave to a work colleague. Her cake tasted nothing like mine, she, said. She was unhappy and implied that I’d left something out. When I asked her if she’d followed the recipe, it turns out that she’d changed just about everything, excepting the frosting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mary! That’s an interesting story and I totally agree with you (hope your colleague finally managed to make the cake she wanted). I’ve tried making healthier versions of flans before and it is like having a different dessert! Sometimes it’s nice to stick to the ‘decadent’ version. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How timely n thank u for sharing! I’ve been looking high n low for the perfect Parisian Flan recipe and yours is exactly the texture I’ve been seeking. Can’t wait to bake this!!! Btw do u suppose shortcrust pastry would taste alright? Too tricky making puff pastry in my kinda humid weather here 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lin, you’re so welcome and I’m very happy this recipe can be useful for you – I’d been searching for it a long time too! :). Parisian flan is commonly made with either puff or shortcrust so that’s perfect for you. Would love to know your thoughts on the flan once you’ve eaten it! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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  5. Ogi the Yogi says:

    Hi Lin, I am having a little brain melt trying to figure out how much filling to make for a pan that’s 8 inch by 3 inches, should I triple the recipe another pan would be a 9 inch by 2 inch (spring pan). Please let me know what you think, I am soooo excited to try your recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, that’s so great you’re going to make this flan! Using a cylinder volume calculator online I found that for your 8in by 3in mould it would be the quantities above x 1.82. Which is almost x2 the quantity, so you could just double everything.
      Hope you enjoy making and eating it! 🙂 Lili

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Lili! Thank you so much for your reply, I ended up doing the math and using my 9inch by 2 inch pan and I tripled the recipe. Not as tall but perfect fit. I think I might have cooked the custard for a minute too long when on the stove, it was closer to pastry cream than it should have been. I also ended up making you inverse puff pastry recipe. I have a lot of pastry left over so I might attempt making the recipe again in my 8 inch by 3 inch pan and only doubling it like you suggest above. It’s gonna be a little firmer but that’s the style of most flan parisien so no biggie. I also usually make the version with the burnt top so this version was really cool to try. Let me know if you think I should be doing anything else to get a creamier product in the end.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi! You’re so welcome and your flan sounds great! Good to know about those quantities for that mould. Yes, you’re right – cooking it a bit less on the stove will make it creamier and also baking it less time because it’s not so high in the tin (as it says in the notes). I’ve also noticed that when made with the very liquid cream in Spain it was easier to keep it soft and creamy than when using thicker cream in the UK. Don’t know if that helps but can’t wait to hear more about your flan adventures! 🙂 p.s. love your blog!

        Like

      • Hi again Lili! Thank you so much for the insights and recipe, it tasted absolutely divine after sitting in the fridge overnight. I’ll be posting picture of the final product on my instagram page, I’ll make sure to tag you both to give credit for the recipe and see if you could give me any pointers. I am in the US right now, I made the flan using american heavy whipping cream that’s 36% fat. They have heavy cream here that’s closer to 30%, I might try that next time. I have a bunch of inverse puff pastry left and I could definitely make another flan parisien next weekend, do you freeze your pastry? Funny you mention Spain, my parents live in Barcelona so I am super familiar with their ingredients and I bake for my parents all the time when I visit. I was thinking of maybe dropping the amount of thickener down as well. Anyway I am such a big fan of your blog and recipes!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi again! Thanks so much for the updates and tags so I could see your amazing flan! So happy you enjoyed it – this creamy Mori Yoshida flan is my favourite! I’ve done some research (looked around online) and see that the French and Spanish 35% whipping creams in small cartons are actually single ‘liquid’ creams with 35% fat. Which explains why they thicken the flan mixture less and it needs more time on the stove too. I’m going to make notes of this in the recipe so thank you for bringing that up! If using heavy cream then reducing the thickener as you mention could be the way to go. Please let me know if you try…
        Yes, I’d use about a quarter or less of the pastry for a flan and freeze the remaining quarters separately wrapped in plastic bags or film. Pastry freezes really well. Just defrost overnight in the fridge (or a few hours at room temperature) before using.
        Thanks again for the lovely flan conversations! 🙂

        Like

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