In "Historically yours", Olivier Poels explores the origins of a pastry from England and which has been used in many countries: the flan.

And more particularly the custard tart, also called pastry custard.

Olivier Poels takes the opportunity to deliver the authentic recipe.

It is a very popular pastry, which can be found as much in bakeries as in the kitchens of French households: the tart au flan.

Yet what we often ignore is this dessert that we also call custard custard has English and Royal origins.

In “Historically Yours”, Olivier Poels tells the story on Monday where the custard tart comes from, and delivers a recipe that is both authentic and easy. 

The custard is found in a lot of pastries around the world, especially in the United States, Asia and Europe.

Because the custard is above all a basic preparation, which we find for example in the famous Portuguese pasteis de nata.

But it was in England that the custard was born, the first traces of which can be found in the Middle Ages, in the 14th century more precisely.


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Flans were thus served in 1399, during the coronation of Henry 4 of England.

It is still found on the royal tables a few centuries later.

Preserving probably a tradition, Queen Elizabeth II of England has indeed demanded that one serve flan during the meal celebrating her 80 years. 

A pastry flan, two schools

Today, flan can be used in many ways, including plain or with caramel.

But it is often eaten taken in a paste.

It is what we call indifferently the pie au flan or the pastry flan.

For this recipe, there are two schools: those who prefer puff pastry and those who prefer shortcrust pastry.

Me, I sliced, it's rather shortcrust pastry.

Note that the recipe for pasteis de nata is the same as for the custard tart, except that you must use puff pastry, which you add a little more sugar.

The problem is that the success of the custard pie pushes some bakeries to use an industrial preparation of custard that you just have to put it in the milk for it to set.

It can have a very gelatinous side which is not necessarily pleasant.

But a real flan, made with the recipe I'm giving you, should stay fairly creamy and chewy.

Like a real and good custard.

Ingredients :

  • 1 shortcrust pastry

  • 1 liter of milk

  • 170 gr of sugar

  • 1 vanilla pod

  • 3 eggs

  • 100 gr of cornstarch

Recipe :

  • Mix the eggs and cornstarch

  • In a saucepan, bring the milk with the sugar and the seeds of the vanilla pod to a boil and let infuse for 15 min.

  • Reheat and incorporate into the then, over low heat, mix well to thicken the preparation

  • Place the dough in a mold and pour the flan

  • Bake at 180 ° for 40 minutes