Saturday, 6 August 2011

A girl with a flan

There is nothing that special about this flan.  It is just cheese, onion and tomatoes - but the addition of the buttermilk makes it delicate, creamy and light.
I've been making a lot of savoury tarts, flans and quiches recently and thought that my husband would be tiring of it, but he actually said this was one of his favourites. It was just a shame that they were not made with homegrown tomatoes.  As soon as local tomatoes comes flooding in, we are reminded of our lost allotment plot, the shed, the greenhouse and so forth. It makes us really sad for the things we lost, but also reminds us of the benefits we took for granted of being out in the fresh outdoors: digging, planting, weeding and working the land.  Since losing the allotment plot and my job, I've gained more than a few pounds.  Not so much for me too go on a diet, but enough to make me feel uncomfortable in myself.  I need to find me some more outdoor distractions as the tiny garden plot; and exploring parts of Scotland at weekends is obviously proving not to be enough.
Anyway, this Cheese, onion and tomato flan shows that sometimes the simple ingredients make the best dishes.  The shortcrust pastry is flaky and light too.  Some egg based dishes taste very eggy, this one doesn't as the cheesy mustard buttermilk disguise that. This flan is great served with green salad, now that is something I have growing at home.
Cheese, onion and tomato flan
Serves 4 - 6
For the shortcrust pastry
Line pastry is 11 ½ inch by 8 inch or a round 8 - 9 inch tin.
225g plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
125g unsalted butter
3 tablespoons water
Add flour and salt to a bowl. Add the butter then rub it into the flour with your fingertips, lifting the mixture out of the bowl to incorporate as much air as possible as this will make the pastry light. Continue until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs, then add the water a little at a time and use your fingertips to press the mixture together and form a dough. Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead rolling out the dough, into whatever shape you want – a round, oval or rectangle. Blind bake in a hot oven at gas mark 6 for 10 minutes with baking beans, then remove the baking beans and bake for another 10 minutes.
Ingredients for the cheese, onion and tomato filling
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
100g cheddar cheese
2 eggs
200ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon grain mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tomatoes, sliced
Heat the oil and saute the onion until transparent.  Allow to cool, then spread evenly over the pastry base.  Sprinkle cheese on top.  Beat the eggs, buttermilk, mustard, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into the flan case.  Arrange the sliced tomatoes around the outside edge, pressing gently.  Bake in the oven at gas mark 4 for 0 - 45 minutes, until set and golden.


  1. What an absolutely gorgeous presentation! It sounds delicious as well.

  2. I will have to try this, it looks scrummy. I do love buttermilk but have only used it in soda bread - yum!
    twiggy x

  3. Thank you so much Barefeet in the Kitchen.

  4. Thanks you Twiggy,
    Its so lovely to hear from you.
    I have another tub of buttermilk to use up. So it could be soda bread next :)
    Hope your well.

  5. This sounds lovely, Shaheen. Like you, I am looking to shed weight...Birthdays don't help, either.

    I thought of you this morning when I heard a commercial for a nursery claiming it had mango trees that could be grown in pots in small spaces such as flats...Have you ever read about or heard of this?

    Blogger is not letting me comment so I hope you get this. e

  6. the flan looks lovely and so summery - I admire your ease with pastry - have been enjoying catching up on your blog after my holiday - lots of good food and quite a few going into my bookmarks

  7. Hi e,
    I don't understand why blogger is not letting you comment. Check your blogger sign in box the next time you sign in, and if the box is checked - the one that ays keep my signed in, uncheck it - that may sort it out.

    Re the growing weight, its the lack of exercise that in my case; not so much birthdays - but I could say when I go to my mothrs its not good as I get spoiled with good food. I actually need to get off my backside more. Hpe you can find a way to address your weight issue x

    No way, mango trees that could be grown in pots in small spaces such as flats. Guess what my mother has tried growing mango from seed, it grows to about 5 inches and then dies. I can see them growign in a fancy greenhouse, those you see at Botanic Gardens but not in small place like flats.

    Thank you Johanna.
    It so good to hear from you. I do hope you had a fab holiday. I have been reading those pop up posts whilst you've been away.

    I am getting rather confident with the pastry, but have to always be careful with measurements. I do tend to stick to the pastry recipes I've tried and tested and this is one I am so confortable with.

  8. I have made so many flans and quiches over the last 3 months (in preparation for our mega-party last month), that I haven't made any this month!

    My recipe was very similar, but I didn't use buttermilk - in fact, I've never used buttermilk so once I get the urge to make pastry again, I'm going to give this a go!

  9. Nutty Gnome.
    I think good homemade flans and quiches aregreat for parties. I am never excited when I see supermarket versions that are heavy on the cream and very eggy too - snotty, so I do prefer making my own.

    Do try the buttermilk its a splendid change from milk.


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