Tuesday, May 15, 2007
La tarte au flan
A friend of mine, quoting her mother, likes to say, "Never eat anything bigger than your head." Sam appears to be breaking that rule here. Maybe the picture makes the tart look slightly bigger than it was, but it was big enough to make people stop in their tracks and stare as he devoured it just outside his school. Tarte au flan, or flan for short, is Sam's favorite afterschool treat. It's a kind of custard thickened with cornstarch and poured into a sweet pastry shell, then baked until the surface browns. You sometimes see versions in bakeries with various fruits added, but Sam is a flan purist - it has to be plain. This one is from Multari, one of our favorite bakeries in Nice, but we sometimes buy it from the wood-fired bakery Espuno even closer to where we live in the Old Town. In Paris the best flan I've come across is at Poilâne, where the bakers produce a tiny but glorious selection of sweet goods (ah, the flaky tarte aux pommes...). I suppose I should try to make my own flan sometime since Sam likes it so much, but then again, why bother when it's so easy to find and so cheap at less than €2?