Parisian Custard Tart


Parisian Custard Tart


Everyone in France nurses a little fondness for the Parisian flan, or flan pâtissier. This simple custard tart can be found in every French boulangerie and patisserie, with a pastry cream texture that ranges from rubbery to velvety smooth. In French restaurants, chefs are now taking the flan up a notch by experimenting with dark sugars and exotic vanilla flavors. For home cooking, I’ve aimed to keep the recipe as simple and delicious as possible without sacrificing taste and texture. We’ll use a fresh vanilla bean, whole milk, cream and short crust for a deliciously creamy flan with a buttery, flaky crust.



  • 1 premade puff pastry sheet
  • 450 milliliters (15.2 fl oz) whole milk
  • 150 milliliters (5 fl oz) heavy cream
  • 1 fresh vanilla pod, split in half lengthwise with the seeds scraped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 1/2 ounces (130 g) sugar
  • 1 4/5 ounce (50 g) cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure maple syrup, to glaze (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the milk and cream and place over medium heat. Add the vanilla pod and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring from time to time.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk and sugar until the mixture becomes a pale-yellow color, then gently blend in the cornstarch.

  3. As soon as the milk mixture starts to simmer, turn off the heat and discard the vanilla pod. Strain half of the milk mixture through a sieve into the egg mixture and whisk to combine before pouring in the rest. Give the custard a gentle stir, taking care not to whisk too hard, to prevent it becoming too foamy.

  4. Pour the custard into the same saucepan used to heat the milk and place over medium heat. Whisk constantly, but gently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the custard thickens and starts to boil. When it does, adjust the heat to low and continue to cook for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and incorporate the butter.

  5. Remove the cake pan from the freezer and scrape the warm pastry cream into the pastry casing, smoothing evenly with a spatula. Place the cake pan on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the surface of the flan is golden with large brown patches. Remove from the oven and allow the flan to cool at room temperature before placing it in the fridge for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight. The flan must be completely cold before it’s unmolded. Brush the top of the flan with some maple syrup (if using) to provide some shine before serving.

Mise en place

  1. Grease the inside of an 8-inch (20-cm)-diameter round springform cake pan, dust lightly with flour and then line it with the pastry so that it covers the bottom and the sides. Keep the cake pan in the freezer until the pastry is rock solid. Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C).


Double the ingredients for a 10-inch (25-cm)–diameter springform cake pan.

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