I love a cheese board but always tend to go overboard when I buy a selection. As a consequence I’m often left with a few cheesy odds and ends once my guests have had their fill. I’m always looking for ways to use up these scraps and made this flan shortly after Christmas. You don’t have to remove every little bit of the rind (which is tricky if the cheese is particularly ripe. Remove the rind as soon as you take the cheese out of the fridge) but it doesn’t add anything to the dish so get rid of as much of it as possible.
Incidentally, the word flan is derived from the medieval ‘flawn’ or ‘flathon’ and (according to Mary Norwak in English Puddings) usually contains cream and eggs. But feel free to call this a tart if you prefer.
- 50g butter
- 500g leeks, washed, halved lengthways then finely sliced
- 80g pancetta pieces (optional – leave out for vegetarian version)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 spring rosemary, finely chopped (about 1 tsp)
- 75ml white wine
- 100g creme fraiche
- 2 egg yolks
- 500g block puff pastry
- 75- 100g Brie or Camembert (weight after rind is removed), roughly chopped
- Salt, pepper and nutmeg to season
- Pre-heat the oven to 200℃.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the leeks and cook gently until softened (around 10 minutes).
- If using the pancetta, fry in a little oil in a separate pan until crisp and golden. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper and reserve until required.
- Turn up the heat for the leeks then add the garlic, rosemary and wine to the pan. Allow the wine to bubble until it has more or less evaporated. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Mix the egg yolks with the creme fraiche. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir into the leeks with the pancetta (if using).
- Roll the pastry out to line a rectangular loose bottomed flan tin measuring approximately 20 x 30cm ensuring the pastry is large enough to cover the sides of the flan tin as well as the base. Spread the leek mixture on top of the pastry then scatter over the cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is cooked and the top is golden. Serve immediately with a crisp, green salad.