18 Sep 2009

Strawberry Summer Flan

Catch the last rays of sunshine with my Strawberry Summer Flan. Ready in 10 minutes, it is an ideal surprise treat for impromptu visitors!

Serves 4 generous portions
Preparation: 10 mins
Cooking: 45 mins

  • Roll of ready-made puff pastry
  • Punnet of strawberries (approx. 350g)
  • Tub of liquid double cream (250 ml)
  • 2 free range organic medium eggs
  • 3 generous tablespoons of Demerara sugar
  • Vegetable oil (to grease the flan tin)
  • Flour (for dusting)
  • Icing sugar (for sprinkling), or desiccated coconut

Pre-heat the oven (190°C). Grease the flan tin. Although everyday cooking oil does the job, I like using walnut oil for its sweet aromatic nutty flavour. Almond or hazelnut oil is equally perfect, and I have been known to use olive oil (if out of walnut oil).

Carefully unroll the puff pastry (making sure you keep its flattened appearance), and place it above your flan tin (covering it totally) to gauge how much of the pastry you will need. As a rough guide, you should only require about half of the roll (i.e. 187.5g). Then carefully cut the pastry with the blunt edge of a rounded knife, still keeping its flattened appearance. 

Place the pastry onto a lightly floured surface (to prevent it from sticking), and gently stretch it with the lightly floured rolling pin.

Carefully lift the pastry from the worktop and gently ease it into the greased flan tin, smoothing the base and lightly pressing the sides of the mould. A good kitchen trick is to lightly roll the rolling pin over the sides of the tin to detach any excess pastry. Then prick the pastry all over with a fork to make it breathe once in the oven.

Rinse the strawberries and hull them. Arrange them onto the pastry. Depending on their size, strawberries may either be kept whole (as pictured), halved or sliced further. You can also either arrange them in a pattern or ‘throw’ them in, space them or cram them (in the latter, you will probably need more than 350g of fruit!)

Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk them together with a hand whisk or fork, dissolving the yolks into the whites, as if preparing an omelette. Add the sugar (I personally use Demerara as it makes the dessert more flavoursome) and whisk. Finally add the whole tub of double cream and beat lightly with a whisk until the ingredients are all combined together. Then pour the mixture into the tin, covering the strawberries. Place in the oven for 45 minutes. When the time is up, do check with a knife through the centre of the flan as it should present a solid consistency (i.e. the eggs should be cooked properly).

Either leave to cool, or serve still lukewarm (it really is down to personal preference and how long you can resist temptation!) Sprinkle with icing sugar (or desiccated coconut) before serving. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment