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English Custard Flan

Teetering on the edge of the world of flan is the English Custard Flan. Many Americans would call it a pie, but with its unique crust, egg and milk texture and smooth appearance, it remains a uniquely English flan concoction. Like most other flans the English Custard Flan is delicious and presents an impressive appearance on the table. Yet, like other typically English foods, it is not delicate, but filling and hearty. Setting in the refrigerator or gracing a dessert tray, it will prove an irresistible temptation to anyone who savors a sweet and luscious dish.

Custard Ingredients:
4 eggs
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Crust Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk

Prepare this sweet crust by pouring flour, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Now add softened butter into bowl, making certain to thoroughly cut the butter into the mixture. Now add egg and yolk. May squeeze together with your hands, form crust into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for three or four hours. However, if you are in a hurry, you may proceed immediately. Refrigeration helps to cure the crust, making it easier to roll out.

On a large flat surface, sprinkle two or three pinches of flour. Place ball of dough on flour and flatten with the heel of your hand to about a 1 inch height. Sprinkle flour on top of dough and spread out with fingers. Now roll out to about 1/2 inch thick (making sure to try to keep dough as circular as possible). Flip over the dough and spread out the clinging flour with fingers. Continue to roll out until the dough will cover the pie dish. Drape dough over rolling pin and lay it out in the pie dish. Push in corners, trim and pinch to your hearts content.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour, making certain to damp it all with the butter. Add milk and stir till the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Stir thoroughly and pour into prepared pie dish. Place in 375° F oven for about 1 hour. Flan is done when an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean. Let cool. When pie is room temperature cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate. Serve chilled with whipped cream.

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