The flan is quite simply one of the flagship desserts of French pastry. Appeared in the Middle Ages, it is first considered a sumptuous dessert, before being neglected over time. So much so that at the end of the XXe century it has been totally forgotten by many craftsmen, some of them even content to buy and mix industrial powders filled with additives and chemical dyes. Fortunately, a few pastry chefs and bakers have never stopped designing homemade blanks.
Recently, the flan has enjoyed a comeback. Social networks have also done a lot for the revival of this traditional delicacy. After having tasted and rated more than fifty flans over several weeks and according to various precise criteria (visual, texture of the dough, flavor of the cream, quality-quantity-price ratio), here is our list – in no particular order – for 2021.
The most traditional: the vanilla flan from Stéphane Glacier
Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2000, Stéphane Glacier offers a perfect flan, since the opening of his shop in Bois-Colombes, in the Hauts-de-Seine, in 2008. He was the first pastry chef to restore his nobility to a cake that it also regularly declines in different flavors (hazelnut, chocolate, pistachio).
Our opinion : the dough is crisp to perfection, the texture supple and creamy and the taste intense and subtle. This is the best value for money of this selection. To taste absolutely!
Composition: puff pastry clippings, milk, cream, egg yolk, whole eggs, sugar, vanilla bean. Bois-Colombes. Price: 3 euros.
The most balanced: Kevin Lacote’s flan
After a richly starred career, Kevin Lacote moved to the capital in 2017 with a pastry-tea room which now has its regulars. In Paris, in his open laboratory, the chef shares his taste for gourmet pastry on a daily basis, with simplicity and elegance.
Our opinion : the crisp and airy caramelized puff pastry accommodates a generous vanilla flan appliance that is slightly shaky. A realization in the rules of the art.
Composition: caramelized puff pastry, flan maker, Bourbon vanilla. KL Pâtisserie, Paris 17e. Price: 18 euros (for 4 people).
The most melting: Arnaud Larher’s flan
Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2007, Arnaud Larher is a pastry chef for whom texture is as important as taste. Daily, he refines and refines new preparations in his Parisian boutiques. Initially only available on weekends, its custard has been so successful that it now offers it every day.
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