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Apricot Flan #2

Instead of using the rich shortcrust pastry that is traditionally used for flans, this recipe uses light and crispy filo pastry. Filo pastry is now available from larger supermarkets. A delicious hazelnut mixture is spread into the pastry case before the apricots are added. Apricots retain considerably more flavour than most other fruits when cooked and they make a sweet fresh filling for this flan. Serve either warm or cold, with a little creme fraiche, if desired.
Preparation time : 30 minutes,
Cooking time : 30-35 minutes,
Oven : Preheat to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7),
Calories per serving: 355

ingredients

serves 8
4 1/2 oz (130 g) unsalted butter
4 oz (115 g) filo pastry
4 oz (115 g) golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
4 oz (115 g) finely ground hazelnuts
2 oz (50 g) plain flour
1 tablespoon Kirsch (optional)
14 oz (400 g) freshly skinned or tinned apricot halves
1 tablespoon sieved apricot jam
Pistachio nuts for garnish

method

1. Melt 1/2 oz (15 g) of the butter. Cut the filo pastry into 8in (200mm) squares and lightly brush each one with melted butter. Brush a 10 in (250 mm) loose-bottom flan tin with a little melted butter.

2. Line the base and sides of the tin with the filo squares, making sure that each one overlaps the next. Fold in any uneven edges.

3. Cream the remaining 4 oz (115 g) butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs and mix them in gradually, beating well after each addition. Fold in the hazelnuts, flour and Kirsch. Spread the mixture evenly into the pastry case.

4. Arrange the apricot halves, with their round sides up, on top of the hazelnut mixture. Place the tin on a baking sheet and bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5) and continue cooking for 20 - 25 minutes, until the filling is golden-brown and firm to the touch.

5. Meanwhile, heat the apricot jam in a saucepan. Remove the flan from the oven, brush the jam over the top and sprinkle with pistachio nuts.

6. Allow the flan to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the outer ring and place the flan on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold.

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