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September 11, 2023

Fruit Flan

An Easy Healthy Dinner Idea

In France, my family and friends grow a significant amount of their own food. During the summer, their gardens flourish with staples like zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes, and their fruit trees yield an abundance of fruits. Even though they use the same ingredients day after day, there is always an exciting variety of dishes.

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Fruit Flan 26

One of the best parts about summers in France is seeing what everyone is cooking. Each year, they have new ideas—and they are often simple. This year, my sister-in-law prepared an apricot flan instead of her usual apricot tarte and served it with apricot sorbet. Although the sorbet was delicious, I wouldn't invest the time to make it, but the flan—absolutely! This apricot fruit flan was a highlight this summer, and this healthy dessert will help you make an easy dinner everyone will love. It's easy to make and can be a great addition to your weekly meal plan.

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Flan can be a versatile dish that works for breakfast, as a snack for kids, or as a healthy dessert to round out a light dinner.

One simple menu idea is to serve raw vegetables like tomatoes, or cucumbers drizzled with olive oil and sea salt. Follow that with a bowl or two of roasted tomato soup and then a few slices of dried sausage and bread (which is traditionally enjoyed with a pat of butter in France). Finish off the meal with a slice of fruit flan for dessert. This four-course meal can be made quickly if you have soup in the freezer and leftover flan on hand—just warm up the soup, and you're ready to go.

Roasted Tomato Soup

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Cucumbers Drizzled with Olive Oil, Celtic Salt, and Tellicherry Pepper

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Dried Sausage Rolled in Herbs de Provence

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Fruit Flan

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Here is my sister-in-law's recipe for apricot flan. This recipe can also be made with peaches, plums, or pears. A fruit flan is an excellent way to use fruit, like peaches, that are not as flavorful as you would like. 

Ingredients

Scale

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

Four eggs

2 cups of whole milk

1 pint of apricots, or peaches, plums, or pears- or a combination of what’s on hand

Optional—powdered sugar for dusting

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Apricot Flan Dusted with Powdered Sugar

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Peach Flan

Instructions

To make the batter, add the flour, eggs, milk, and sugar to a large mixing bowl and use a whisk to mix well.

Slice the apricots in half, remove the pits, and place the apricot halves open-side down in a shallow baking dish.

Pour the batter over the apricots.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes or until firm.

Optional: Dust the flan with powdered sugar. 

Notes

The Batter:

When preparing the batter, you can combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl at once and whisk them together. There may be some lumps in the batter, which is perfectly acceptable for a quick dessert on a weeknight. However, here are two tips for eliminating lumps in the batter.

As the batter sits, the lumps will dissolve. Letting the batter sit for at least half an hour will do the trick. But it can sit for several hours in the refrigerator if you make it ahead of time in the morning or afternoon. It's even okay if you make it the night before. Then, when you're ready to use it, whisk it again to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients before pouring it over the fruit.

Another way to remove lumps is to place the flour in the mixing bowl, create a little well in the center, and add the eggs to the well of the flour. Give it a little whisk to slightly combine the eggs in the flour, and then add about a third of the milk and whisk thoroughly, then add the rest of the milk and finish whisking until all of the ingredients are combined. 

Dusting with Sugar:

A tip for creating an even layer of powdered sugar is to hold a small sieve in the palm of your hand to prevent the sugar from falling through. Place the powdered sugar in the sieve, remove your hand, and shake the sieve over top of the flan to dust it lightly and evenly with the powdered sugar.

Preparing the Pan:

If you find your flans stick to your baking pan, butter the baking dish, and add a small amount of granulated sugar, shaking it around to create a thin coating of butter and sugar.

Whipped Cream:

Instead of serving milk with dinner, a dollop of homemade whipped cream, made with a grass-fed heavy cream with or without a pinch of sugar, is a delicious and exciting way to get calcium. 

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I often cook "au pif," as we say in France, which means cooking without an exact recipe and by "feel" using your intuition.  You’ll often find guidelines in many recipes versus exact quantities.  Write to me here if you have any questions about the recipes.

Copyright 2019-2024, Return to the Table by Caterina De Falco, All Rights Reserved

This flan is very similar to a fruit clafoutis. You can click here to learn about clafoutis if you haven't discovered them. They are like a crustless quiche, which is very light, and you can make a sweet or savory version. Clafoutis are also perfect for leftovers to help you make an easy dinner.

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A clafoutis is rich in calcium and a delicious and practical way to consume calcium. Learn more about the downside of serving milk with dinner in this blog, No Milk with Dinner Blog

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