Making the Best Flan Ever!

When my boyfriend saw the title of the contest "sugar and spice and everything nice", he could only think off one recipe namely flan. Dutch word "vlaai". You really have to eat it first in order to appreciate this delicious pastry.

The flan from Aalst is recognised by Unesco and has a very long history. Chances are that it's the kind of flan that is painted on two of the masterpieces of Pieter Bruegel the elder, namely "the paisants wedding" and "dutch proverbs". It's not sure, but if you consider that the roots of Bruegel's wife were from Aalst and that this was the daughter of his teacher Pieter Coecke Van Aelst, then chances are great that my claim is true.

I don't claim this flan to be the original "Aalsterse vlaai", neither will it be the completely same recipe as on the paintings, because some ingredients are different compared to those of Aalsterse vlaai. This made the flan even better then the original (Sorry for those from Aalst) in my opinion.

This flan is even so tasty that it was the first local dish I as an "immigrant" from another Flemish city, learned to make. For both me and my boyfriend it's even our favorite. He even convinced me to write this instructable so you too can enjoy this overly delicious pastry.

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Step 1: The Ingredients and the Supplies

To start with, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 litre of milk
  • 200 grams of brown sugar
  • 100 grams of white sugar
  • 200 grams of gingerbread
  • 1 package of round toast
  • 2 tablespoons of flower
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • a pinch of salt
  • a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • a teaspoon of mace
  • 2 tablespoons of candy siroup
  • 2 eggs

You'll also need the following supplies:

  • a casserole (we use a Creuset casserole)
  • a cup
  • a kitchen scale
  • a whisk
  • a masher
  • a round clay pot

Step 2: And Now, the Real Deal!

  1. Preheat your oven at 170° Celsius / 338 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pour the milk in a pot, add the white sugar and heat it slowly. Don't let it boil! Stir reguraly with a whisk.
  3. Meanwhile, crush the round toast in the casserole with the masher and add the gingerbread in little pieces.
  4. Add a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of mace, the brown sugar and the brown siroup.
  5. Mix the cup of hot water with 2 tablepoons of flower and add it to the toast and gingerbread.
  6. Stir a couple of minutes with the whisk.
  7. When the sugar is completly dissolved in the milk and when it's hot enough, pour the milk in the casserole.
  8. Stir a couple of minutes. Use the masher to dissolve the biggest fragments.
  9. Put the casserole on the stove and heat the mix softly for a 3 to 4 minutes. Keep on stirring at all times to dissolve the last fragments of toast and gingerbread!
  10. Whisk 2 eggs in a little cup and add them to the mix. Keep on stirring for about one minute.
  11. Pour the mix into the round clay pot.
  12. Put it in the oven for 65 minutes.
  13. Get it out of the oven and let it cool down.

It is also delicious when slightly warm, but it's quite heavy for the stomach. It's better to let it cool down completly. My boyfriend like it the most when it's 2 days old, because the flavours are more pronounced then.

Bon appétit! Smakelijk!

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    2 Discussions

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    seamster

    7 days ago

    This looks great!

    And oddly enough, I was flipping through an art history book I have - just within the last week! - and spent some time looking at the painting you mentioned (Peasant Wedding).

    I wondered what in the world they were eating . . and also appreciated that the plates were being served from an old door. It was pretty fun to see your recipe. Thank you!

    Here's a shot from my book : )

    PA100024.JPG
    1 reply
    None
    Sabrina2302seamster

    Reply 5 days ago

    Hello!
    Thank you for your comment. I'm glad the mystery around the food and the door is solved right now ;-) My boyfriend and I just love the French Primitives. I'm glad I can contribute to the spreading of the Flemisch cuisine.