If you’ve been dropping by my blog regularly (...thank you!), you probably noticed that I have a weakness for custard (flan patissier) or flan desserts. These silky and creamy desserts have been part of my childhood when I grew up in France, the first five years of my life.
In fact, a lot of Vietnamese desserts have been influenced by French cuisine. Eggs and milk is not uncommon in most Vietnamese sweets, but to keep the Asian flair, we often like to add those extra special Asian ingredients such as coconut, star anise, cinnamon, mangos…For this dessert, the unsweetened coconut was sufficient to make this French influenced dessert a fragrant and exotic one.
What I love about flans is their creamy texture. They have just enough sweetness for me to enjoy the tasteful blend of milk and eggs. It’s smooth and creamy, yet so gratifying.
This recipe calls for heavy cream which gives the flan a softer and creamier consistency than any flan patissier I’ve ever tasted. The coconut gave it a much more exotic character as much as it made it a hit at dinner parties. It's an awesome dessert drizzled with a good Amaretto liquor.
Preparation: 20 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes
Recipe “au pif”:1 10x10 in. puff pastry dough sheet
1/3 cup raw cane sugar (or more to taste)
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream (35%)
2 2/3 cup 1% milk
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Preheat oven at 350F.
Lay the pastry sheet on parchment paper that is more or less the same size of the pastry sheet.
Line an 8 in. x 5.5 in. rectangular baking pan with the pastry dough/parchment paper. Make pleats on the outer edges so that the dough sticks to the edges of the pan. Or you can use a circular springform pan, about 8” dia., and line the bottom with the pastry dough, cut roughly about the same size as the bottom of the pan.
Poke small holes in the bottom of the dough with the help of a small fork.
Bake for about 5 minutes in the oven until half baked. Remove from oven and let it cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and half the amount of sugar.
Add and whisk in the cornstarch, vanilla extract and cream until ingredients are well blended together. Mixture should be thick.
In a medium-sized sauce pan, bring milk and rest of sugar to a boil for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add a few ladles of the hot milk to the egg mixture while whisking to temper the eggs. Slowly, add the tempered egg mixture back into the hot milk while whisking.
Put the sauce pan back onto the stove on medium-low heat. Whisk for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens and turns into a silky and smooth custard. Remove from heat.
Stir in the unsweetened shredded coconut.
Pour onto the baked buttered crust. You may have some left over custard which you can pour into small ramequins for extra individual servings. Perfect for snacks.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.
Serve warm or chilled and indulge with a good quality Amaretto liquor.
Serves 6 people.