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Flan Varieties

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Category: Fruit, Desserts

 Ingredients List

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A flan can be either of two things: One, a straight-sided, open-faced tart
that stands alone in its own pastry shell with any savory or sweet filling.
This kind of flan is a feature of French cooking. Quiche Lorraine is the
best known of the savory flans.

The flan tart is made with flan rings which can be bought in hardware or
household stores. Flan rings are simple Metal hoops of varying heights,
that are spaced on a cookie sheet. The pastry is placed on the cookie sheet
inside the ring for the bottom of the tart. The ring is also lined with
pastry. The pastry may be baked empty or with a filling. When the flan is
done, the ring is removed and the flan slid onto a rack or a serving dish.

Flans can also be baked in springform pans, which have removable bottoms.
The whole pan is lined with pastry. When ready to be unmolded, the pan is
set on a wide-mouthed jar and the upper ring part of the pan is loosened
and allowed to slide down to the table. Then, a long thin knife or spatula
is run under the flan so that it can be slid off the bottom of the pan onto
a dish. A flan ring can be improvised by shaping several layers of
heavy-duty aluminum foil into the desired shape.

When baking a flan which will be filled later, it should be treated as a
pie shell is: in order to prevent the pastry from puffing up or collapsing,
the dough should be covered with a sheet of heavy unwaxed brown paper and
weighted with dry beans or rice. These will hold the pastry against the
mold during the baking. Paper and beans are then removed.

The second culinary meaning of the word flan is a custard or caramel cream
thickened with eggs or with other thickening agents such as Irish gum
arabic. This kind of flan is a standard dessert in Spanish-speaking

McRecipe - PatHanneman - 30 Sep 97.

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