I usually don't include recipes on Cuisine Quotidienne, but this one -- the object of last weekend's guessing game -- is such a jewel that I will share its simple formula.
I cut Flans de carottes out of a very old (circa 1990) issue of Guide Cuisine, back when I had time to religiously buy several monthly cooking magazines AND cut out the most interesting recipes AND put them on little file cards AND actually try them out.
Over the years, I've used the same recipe with zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms and about any other vegetable that can be mashed or puréed. It is a great starter, side dish, or even light main dish. The best thing about it, though, is its mind-boggling simplicity. Try it out!
For 4 flans:
1. Steam or otherwise cook 250 grams/half a pound of carrots or the vegetable of your choice until quite soft.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
3. Mash or blend the vegetables, then mix them together with:
- 2 eggs
- Half a cup/150 cl of crème fraîche, liquid cream or half and half ("any cream will do" -- and I challenge anyone to find my play on words here!)
The original recipe calls for nothing more, but I often add a spice or some fresh herbs.
You can blend the ingredients for a very fine consistency or just mash and stir for a grainier flan as in my photo.
4. Pour into 4 well-greased ramekins or other individual container -- you may end up with 6 or more servings depending on the size of your recipient.
5. Bake in a bain-marie for about 20 minutes or until set.
To serve, run a thin knife around the edge of the ramekin and empty the flan onto the serving plate, or serve directly in the recipient. For even more simplicity, the recipe can be made in one larger recipient, but the cooking time will of course increase.
The possibilities for this basic formula are endless. My favorite version uses zucchini and a teaspoon of fennel seeds. If you invent a new version, please tell me about it!