Saturday, January 19, 2013

My mother's vanilla custard tart (le flan au caramel de ma mère)

My mother bakes a very good custard tart.
This is the only one I love. And my husband just adores it.

My mother uses to repeat me how much it was easy to bake !  Soooooo easy !

I asked her the recipe and she gave it to me. Without problem.

Some days after this, we had to take lunch to my oldest sister. 
I was tired and without will to bake some long dessert. 
I said I would bake the famous custard tart.

After one hour of cooking, I took it out of the oven and, as my mother told me to do, I put it in the fridge and waited for the cold to harden it.

I've waited for 2 hours !

When I took it out of the fridge, it was still liquid.

I called my mother for help.

She replied, suspicious : 
"Are you SURE you made all I said ??...
- Yes, mum ! 
- Read me the recipe !
- blablabla ..
- And you really did ALL THAT ?
- Yes, mum ! 
- So, it must be ready ! 
- No, mum ! It's always liquid ! 
- It's normal, girl, you have to let it into the fridge...
- I DID IT ! It's still liquid after 2 hours !
- ... Impossible. 
- ... Muuuum ... Don't tell me "impossible", I know what I've got in front of my eyes ! And this is the Blob or anything else, but this is not a custard tart ! 
- ... (still sceptic)...I do not understand. This custard tard is sooooooo easy you could bake it with closed eyes ! 
- Well, that's maybe because I kept my eyes OPENED !! 
- Don't be stupid. Do you still have eggs ? Yes ? Do it again."

And I did it again, because I'm well educated and obey to my mother 10 percent of my time...

After the exact same result, I called her once again ! 
- "HEEEEEELP ! It happened the same ! 
- Axelle, really ! I DO-NOT-UNDERSTAND ! This ALWAYS works ! AL-WAYS ! 
I've done it 500 times without any failure ! Are you sure you used 8 eggs ? 150 grammes of sugar ? Used a bain marie ? Not whisk too much ?
- Yes ! Yes ! Yes! Yes ! 
- ... So, I don't understand. I'm sorry. But don't throw it away ! ... Put it in a bottle, it will make a kind of custard, you will eat it with chocolate cake, for example. 

This is how end the story of the first custard tart in bottle of the Culinary History of Custard tart ! 

... One year after, my mother send me an email, with custard tart recipe, asking me : 
"Is this THE recipe I gave you ??"

Yes, mum, it was THE recipe you gave me. BUT ... you told me to put the oven at 150° C (300°F / Th 4), while on THIS recipe, you wrote 180°C (350°F / Th 6).
In baking, those kind of ... details can fail a recipe ! 

She laughed ! 

And finally, here's the TRUE recipe of my mother's custard tart. 

  • 1 liter of whole milk (WHOLE ! Don't discuss this point !)
  • 150 grammes of sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 vanilla pod or 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Caramel. So... As my mum and me, use an industrial caramel. If you want to do it by yourself, you'll need 75 grammes of sugar and 2 tablespoon of water.
Your oven must be preheat to 180°C (350°F / Th 6).

You can use a big dish. I used several little ones. 


Step 1 : 
Make your caramel. In a pan, pour your water with sugar and let it caramelize, on a low fire, making your pan swing. Don't mix it.
When it's done, pour some in the bottom of your dish. Here you see my small pans, with industrial caramel (but good) caramel. 


Step 2 : 
In a saucepan, open your vanilla pod in two, add it in the milk and let it cook on a low fire, until it begins to boil. Then, STOP IT ! Don't let it boil with big bubbles. 
Take the saucepan out of the fire and wait for 5 minutes. 



Step 3 :
Whisk eggs and sugar, but NOT TOO MUCH ! Use your weak hands ! 




Step 4 : 
Make boil some water and pour it in a large dish, to make your custard tart cook in a bain-marie. 
Then, add one ladle of milk in your eggs mixture, very slowly, mixing with a wood spoon. 
Do it till the end. 




video

Step 5 : 
Pour the mixture into your dish, slowly. 


video

Step 6 :
Put the dish in your bain-marie and let it cook 40 minutes for small dishes, and 45 - 50 minutes for a large one. 
Those indications must be adapted to your oven, of course. 



Here what they look like after 40 minutes. 




Step 7 : 
Take them out of boiling water and put them in the fridge for hours. Better doing them the day before. 
You can add some caramel on the top of it. 

Bon appétit ! 




Recapitulative. 

  • 1 liter of whole milk
  • 150 grammes of sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 vanilla pod or 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Caramel. So... As my mum and me, use an industrial caramel. If you want to do it by yourself, you'll need 75 grammes of sugar and 2 tablespoon of water.
Your oven must be preheat to 180°C (350°F / Th 6).

You can use a big dish. I used several little ones. 

Make your caramel. In a pan, pour your water with sugar and let it caramelize, on a low fire, making your pan swing. Don't mix it.
When it's done, pour some in the bottom of your dish. 

In a saucepan, open your vanilla pod in two, add it in the milk and let it cook on a low fire, until it begins to boil. Then, STOP IT ! Don't let it boil with big bubbles. 
Take the saucepan out of the fire and wait for 5 minutes. 

Whisk eggs and sugar, but NOT TOO MUCH ! Use your weak hands ! 

Make boil some water and pour it in a large dish, to make your custard tart cook in a bain-marie. 
Then, add one ladle of milk in your eggs mixture, very slowly, mixing with a wood spoon. 
Do it till the end. 

Pour the mixture into your dish, slowly. 

Put the dish in your bain-marie and let it cook 40 minutes for small dishes, and 45 - 50 minutes for a large one. 
Those indications must be adapted to your oven. 


Take them out of boiling water and put them in the fridge for hours. Better doing them the day before

6 comments:

  1. Axelle, we love custard at our house and I use my mother-in-law's recipe. I will have to try your mother's recipe next time.
    love and prayers, jep

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jep ! I love those recipes because there's each family can have her own method :)

      Delete
  2. Dear Axelle-I am going to make this tomorrow for Sunday Dinner dessert. What a funny story! Regards-Jamie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hahaha, so you obey your mother 10% of the time? That's more than me ;) When you said custard "tart" I thought you were going to make a "tarte à la crème" or something like that :) Those little flans look amazing, I LOVE these things!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For me "tarte à la crème" are just for fun ! I can't even imagine eat one :D
      They are very good, really.

      Delete