How to make a French Custard Pie (Flan parisien)

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Adjust Servings:
For the base
200 grams puff pastry optional
For the Custard
500 ml milk
125 ml pure cream heavy cream (35% fat content)
100 grams egg yolks aprox 5 to 6 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod or a tablesppon of vanilla essence
120 grams caster sugar caster sugar
50 grams cornstarch corn flour (maizenna)

How to make a French Custard Pie (Flan parisien)

The dessert every French Knows

  • Butter
  • Dairy
  • flour
  • Pastry


  • For the base

  • For the Custard



The flan parisien is a simple custard tart /pie recipe that has been around in France for decades. if you have not tried one, your knowledge of French food is definitely dented. For the recipe you will need some puff or shortcrust pastry and a 18 to 22 cm Tart or pie dish or even a cake mould should do to. You can also make the crustless version as seen in the video.


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Mix the egg yolks , sugar and starch together

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mix become whitish (it should become of cream like color). when done add the starch (corn flour) and incorporate in the mix of eggs and sugar.


Warm up the milk and cream together.

In a sauce pan , on medium to high heat, pour all of the milk and cream, add the vanilla pod split open ( make sure you scrap the beans out and add them in the milk too) and bring to the boil.


Pour the warm milk over the egg mix

As soon as the milk reaches boiling point turn the heat off, remove the vanilla pod then pour the milk over you egg mix little bit at at time while whisking gently but continuously. keep on going until all of the milk is incorporated.


Pour the mixture back in the sauce pan and cook

use the same pan you used to cook the milk and pour all of mix you just made back in the saucepan. turn the heat on medium high and bring to the boil while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon.
very quickly the mix will thicken and start to boil. when it does turn the heat back on low and keep cooking for a good 5 minutes ( while keeping on whisking) then turn the heat off.


Pour the pastry cream in a clean bowl and let it cool down

Well done you have just made a pastry cream! now pour all of your cream in a clean cold bowl and cover with plastic wrap to the touch (meaning your plastic wrap has to be in contact with the cream to avoid that crust form on top) when done let the cream cool down totally you can put it in the fridge to accelerate the process.


Assemble and bake the Parisian Flan

if you want to use a crust: Prepare you tart or pie dish by coating it with a little bit of butter then lightly dust it with flour. ( that's to avoid the pastry to stick ).Then , start first by Laying down the puff pastry or shortcrust in the tart or pie dish

if you want to make the crustless version: just coat your cake tin with butter and cover with parchment paper ( as demonstrated in the video)

when ready take out you pastry cream and whisk it so that it becomes more workable. when done fill the dish with all of the cold pastry cream.
flatten the top with a spatula to make sure the surface is even. Bake the Parisian flan at 170 to 180 degrees Celsius \ 338 - 356 Fahrenheit for 35 minutes (or until a golden crust has formed on top)


Reserve until cold then serve

On of the most important step with the Parisian flan is the need of letting it cool down before serving.
so when your flan is ready let it cool down totally before starting to cut it. it is better serve totally cold.


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5 Comments Hide Comments

Just One question. There is heavy cream in The ingredients lista but I could nota find It in The preaparation. Should It be combined with The milk ?

Hi Paul
I have amended the ingredients and expanded the explanations slightly to make sure the recipe is “home friendly” and that the pastry cream keeps nice and firm. ( I added more pastry gramage and 10 grams of extra starch) regarding your question the pastry has to be Very thin in fact can even use shortcrust pastry which is easy to make by hand. In any case layed it out very thinly. Just about 3 to 4 millimetres thick. Not sure how much that is in inches. Let me know how you go.

Thanks Stephane – I appreciate you getting back to me! The Flan turned out excellent and everyone at work loved it! Next time I make this, I will use the shortcrust pastry recipe – thanks again! I’m loving your page. Paul.

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