This is a pastry I have yet to find in the United States. It's pretty much amazing. Flaky pastry filled with a pastry cream and baked until firm and caramelized on top. Yum! French patisseries consider this a standard in their display windows and I just can't figure out why we haven't caught on. That just means I have to make it myself, which isn't so bad because then you have the whole Flan rather than just a piece. It's best cold but we rarely wait that long, assuming we'll be able to eat it cold several times in the days to follow. The recipe is in metric units since it is a French recipe so it's helpful to have a scale.
For the pate brisee(crust):
250 g flour
5 g sea salt
40 g sugar
125 g unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
5 cl room temp water
Mix the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until crumb-like.
Mix the water and yolk and add to the flour/butter mixture to form the dough. (I usually have to add a bit more water to make the dough come together). Wrap and refrigerate 30 min.
For the creme patissiere (pastry cream):
150 g sugar
70 g corn starch
70 g corn starch
2 tsp. vanilla
15 cl heavy cream
60 cl. whole milk
Whisk the eggs and half of the sugar (75 g) and stop before the eggs whiten. Sift the corn starch into the bowl and add the vanilla and the cream. Heat the milk and the rest of the sugar until just boiling. Remove from heat. Add a couple ladles of the hot liquid to the egg mixture while whisking to temper the eggs. While whisking, add the tempered egg mixture back into the hot milk. Replace on the stove at medium heat and stir continuously until the cream just begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and pour into a glass or stainless steel bowl to cool a bit.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees .
Roll out the dough and lay in greased and floured spring-form pan. Pour in the pastry cream and bake 20 minutes. Raise the oven to 400 degrees and continue baking another 10 minutes. If the top doesn't brown on it's own I usually turn the broiler on at the end of baking to make sure the top gets caramelized.
Let cool and then refrigerate...if you can wait that long.