Maytime Flan

The recipe is from a weekly collection of cookbooks called ‘Nice & Easy’ that I used to buy when my children were small in the early 80s. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made this over the last – oh my goodness, twenty five years(!). It’s delicious warm but I more usually make it for picnics and parties (when I make a double sized one in a large flan dish) as it can be eaten cold with a salad and some new potatoes.

The original recipe says ‘serves 4’ giving the following quantities but if using as part of a picnic it will go much further.

215g shortcrust pastry
225g cottage cheese with chives (or other added ingredients but not pineapple)
3 eggs
25g butter
100g button mushrooms, sliced
half tsp dried thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tomato thinly sliced.

The one pictured was made with 300g cottage cheese (because that’s the size they had in the shop), 250g mushrooms (because I like them) and two tomatoes which where not sliced very thinly. I also sliced a couple of spring onions and mixed them into the cottage cheese. If using a larger quantity of cottage cheese either make sure you use large eggs or use an extra one (the pictured flan had three large eggs).

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200C

2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line an 18cm loose-bottomed flan ring standing on a baking sheet. If you haven’t got a loose bottomed one you’ll just have to hope you don’t break the flan. As you can see from the photograph, I used a ceramic dish and served it in it. This is a fairly large dish – about 22cm so was big enough for the extra quantity of ingredients.

3. Prick the pastry with a fork, line with greaseproof and fill with baking beans. Bake blind in the oven for ten minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the cottage cheese into a bowl with the eggs and beat together with a fork until well mixed.

5. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the mushrooms and fry gently for two minutes (the original recipe says), stirring. You might want to substitute butter for something healthier but I like the flavour the butter gives. You might also want to cook them for longer – I did.

6. Drain well (if there is any fat left not absorbed by the mushrooms) then add the mushrooms to the cottage cheese mixture (see alternative below). Stir in the thyme (if using) and season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Pour the cottage cheese & egg mixture into the pastry case and arrange the tomato slices on the top.

8. Return the flan to the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the filing is golden and set.

9. Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Will keep for a few days in the fridge.
Nutritional info will be added when I get back from my holidays.

Alternative: instead of stirring the mushrooms into the cheese mixture, put them as a layer on the pastry before pouring the cheese mixture on top. I did that this time and I think I prefer it.

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2 Responses to “Maytime Flan”

  1. Adam Says:

    Looks like a delicious addition to any picnic. So I take it you tried adding pineapple?

  2. jacqib Says:

    Not sure I’d fancy pineapple in it. I think it would be too wet – hence the suggestion not to. But feel free to try it with pineapple and report back.

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