Monday, December 6, 2010

summer fruit flans


These little babies of mine have multiple recipe origins: Modern Classics 2 by Donna Hay ($39.95), The Masterchef Cookbook Vol. 1 ($39.95) and Ultimate Cake by Barbara Maher ($42). I couldn't find a recipe that I quite liked the most, so I just made a frankensteinian version that was a combination of all three. And of course, I also received visual inspiration from, slash, I plaigiarised the Fruit Flans at Miss Maud.

Next time I'll make the pastry thinner and paint a layer of melted chocolate on the inside of the pastry instead of jam. And my crème pâtissière wasn't as smooth as I would have liked... but I like to think, not bad for a first try!

Pastry
• 2 cups plain flour
• 3 tbsp caster sugar
• 150g cold butter, chopped
• 2-3 tbsp iced water
• Egg white for brushing


Crème Pâtissière
• 2 cups milk
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 4 egg yolks
• ¼ caster sugar


Fruit topping
• Summer fruit
• 2 tbsp fruit jam, sieved.
• ½ cup sugar
• ¼ cup water
• 2 tsp powdered gelatine dissolved in 1 tbsp water



Pastry

1. Process flour, sugar and butter in food processor until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While motor running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough and process until just combined. Knead dough lightly, clingwrap and refrigerate for 30 mins.



2. Roll out pastry on lightly floured surface paper 2-3mm thick.
Using floured fingers, carefully ease pastry into bottom and up sides of tin. Prick all over with fork, then chill for 1 hour (you can make the Crème Pâtissière and glaze meanwhile).


3. Preheat oven to 180C. Blind bake with baking paper weighed down with uncooked rice or beans for 10 minutes, then remove weights and bake a further 10 minutes or until pastry golden. Empty onto wire rack to cool, and brush with egg white while still hot to seal.




Crème Pâtissière

1. Place milk and vanilla extract in saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to boil.
2. Whisk yolks and sugar in separate bowl until thick and pale. Add cornflour and whisk to combine. Slowly pour in hot milk, whisking continuously.


3. Pour mixture back into saucepan over medium-high heat and simmer rapidly while whisking continuously for 5 minutes or until thick.
4. Place non-stick baking paper or plastic wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream to cover and set aside to cool.


Fruit Topping

1. Place sugar and water in small saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolved.
2. Add gelatine and cook for 1 min. Set aside to cool.
3. When completely cooled, brush flan bases with jam, spoon crème pâtissière into base and arrange fruit on top.
4. Spoon glaze evenly over fruit so it forms a seal, leave to set. Refrigerate to set.



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