Happy Thanksgiving y’all. Make yourselves a ‘Flan-tastic’ day.

Ian Leatt

What is it about familial events that make us all go a little crazy? Thanksgiving, a celebration between family and friends, is always a ritual that we all want to believe in. The gathering of everyone around the table makes for many a fun time.

Who cooks the turkey? What vegetables do we have? Of course, pumpkin pie! This time around why not try something in conjunction with your festive pie. How about a little flan to make the palate complete after the feast.

While the pie may be a fan favourite, the flan can be hailed as a celebration of harvest, a time when we are all most grateful for our bounty.

Make your Thanksgiving a flan-tastic day!

Here’s what you will need:

3 cups regular flour
¼ cup butter
¼ cup Tenderflake lard
Pinch of salt
1 cup of water

2 litres whipping cream
2 cups fresh custard
1 teaspoon fine sugar
4 drops vanilla essence

2 cans peaches sliced
1 carton strawberries halved
1 carton raspberries
1 carton black berries
5 kiwis, peeled and sliced

The pastry is the key to this recipe, and it’s easy to make. Place the flour, butter, lard and salt in a bowl and blend together until you have formed a crumb consistency. Tip all ingredients onto a clean countertop and form a well inside. (the volcano look). Pour in some of the water and slowly cave in the mixture from the outside, slowly mould together until you have the desired dough.

Roll the dough out until you have reached the size you want for your flan tin, I used a 16-inch pan (quite large). Once rolled out, prick the pastry in the centre with a fork several times, this will help prevent the pastry from rising. You want a nice flat surface for your filling. Place inside the oven at 350 F and cook for 30 minutes or so, until the pastry is a nice golden brown colour. Set aside to cool down.

Cook two cups of custard, using custard powder instructions. For speed you can also purchase cans of ready-made custard in the store; two cans would work. The custard now needs to be cold for the next step.

In a mixing bowl, pour in all your cream and drops of vanilla essence, mix until the cream forms stiff peaks. Fill a piping bag with cream (for decoration purposes), and with the remaining add the now cold custard. Stir together the mixture (do not beat; this will make the cream drop). Once you have blended the mixture, pour onto your cold flan base and spread out to ensure all areas are full.

Decorate however you like. This is where the choice is completely yours. Enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving.

Ian Leatt is general manager of Pegasus Publications.

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