Saturday, 28 January 2012
Hot Apple Flan
For this month's Random Recipes Challenge set by Dom at the idyllic Belleau Kitchen we were asked to randomly pick a recipe from a new cookbook. One of the books I received for Christmas was 80 Recipes Brasseries Bocuse. Paul Bocuse is a French chef based in Lyon where he has five brasseries as well as his famous restaurant L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges just outside the city. The author of the book, Jean Fleury, manages the brasseries and is a protege of the famous chef.
I spent a year living and working in Lyon where I had ample time to sample the amazing food this city has to offer. I left after 12 very well fed months and 1 stone heavier. This book was a very much appreciated Christmas gift from one of my Lyonnaise friends. It has been great flicking through it reminiscing about the city and its wonderful restaurants of which the Bouchons are the most famous. The tradition of bouchons came from small inns visited by silk workers who were passing through Lyon in the 17th and 18th centuries. A bouchon serves traditional Lyonnaise cuisine, such as sausages, duck pate or roast pork. The dishes are generally focused around meat and quite heavy (remember the 1 stone...). Nowadays there are around 20 officially certified traditional bouchons in Lyon.
While the five Bocuse brasseries span many different types of cuisine the Brasserie du Nord chapter of the book focuses on traditional Lyonnaise cooking served in the bouchons and it was from here that I chose my Hot Apple Flan recipe. For me, apple flan is a quintessentially French dessert yet is is something I've never previously made. The recipe itself was pretty simple although I struggled a bit with the Pate Brise pastry. In the end I changed the quantities slightly, reducing the amount of flour used, as I felt the one in the book wasn't working out. I definitely rolled the pastry out too thinly too meaning it burnt slightly during cooking. I've got a bit of a fear of pastry so that is something I need to work on this year. Despite a slighty burnt crust this flan was rather delicious - Mr CB and myself devoured it in about 10 minutes flat (I feel the 1 stone might be coming back to haunt me.....).
The Recipe (adapted from 80 Recipes Brasseries Bocuse)
6 apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
30g butter, diced
30g caster sugar
100g plain flour
50g soft butter
50g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1. Start with the pastry. Cream the butter and icing sugar together in a food processor until pale and creamily. Add the egg yolks and flour and blend until it comes together into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 180c. Roll out the chilled pastry and lay it on a loose bottomed flan tin. Arrange the apples in layers over the pastry.
3. Sprinkle the top with caster sugar and the butter. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Once cooked, warm the apricot jam and brush over the tart.