Monday, 19 December 2011

Chantenay Carrot and Thyme Flan

It doesn't matter what the weather is like outside: autumnal or wintry, you can be rest assured that the one vegetable that will always inject some colour onto your plate is the orange root vegetable - the crunchy carrot. Another thing going for the carrot is you are able to find it all year round.  Its also such a versatile vegetable, not only does it appear on your plate as a side dish, it can be transformed into a soup, a cake, a biscuit, a breakfast waffle, a dip or even a jam!
A couple of years ago, I grew loads of carrots: in pots and in the ground.  They tasted surprisingly like carrot.  I know that's a odd statement to make, but once you've grown your own - you really do start tasting  and smelling the difference in vegetables.  Anyway, this time round - no home grown carrots for me, they had to be bought in. 

I was actually looking for some baby carrots for this recipe, but I couldn't find them so in its place I picked up some stumpy  Chantenay carrots.   If you can’t find either of them at your greengrocers or supermarket, just substitute them with the larger variety and chop it in half.  I think carrots also lends itself well to many herbs, but in this flan they are infused with some homegrown (dried) thyme. 
I was encouraged by a blog post written by fellow blogger Nicisme at Cherrapeno to submit a recipe into a competition called a Carrot Competition.  It is being hosted by
UPDATE; Fellow blogger RuckusButt of Food.Life.Dog. made her version of this flan.  I think its looks splendid,  please do go by and check it out here.  
Chantenay Carrot and Thyme Flan
Serves 4 – 6

For the shortcrust pastry

170g plain flour
A pinch of salt
85g cold butter
2 tablespoons cold water
Method for short crust pastry

Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add 2 - 3 tablespoons cold water to the mixture. Mix to a firm dough.
Chill, wrapped for at least 30 minutes before using.
Preheat oven to gas mark 6.

Roll out the pastry and use to line a 8 - 9 inch round dish, then bake blind.  Set aside to cool.
For the Carrot Thyme Flan Filling

1 tablespoons of olive oil
4 – 6 shallots, sliced
4 – 6 Chantenay or baby carrots, sliced in half length ways

1 – 2 medium carrots, grated
150ml milk or for a luxurious texture single cream
1 medium egg
1 teaspoon dried  thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pan, heat the oil and add in the shallots.  Saute until soft without browning,  then add the halved carrots, grated carrots, thyme and seasoning cook on low heat covered until the halved carrots are al dente.  Turn off the heat.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  When cool, carefully remove the halved carrots with a slotted spoon and set aside. Gently spread the sautéed shallots, grated carrots evenly into the flan case. Then as you wish, decoratively lay the halved carrots on top.
Whisk the milk with the egg.  Pour into the flan case.
Bake on gas mark 5 for 30 – 35 minutes until set.  This is good at room temperature or cold.


  1. Another lovely recipe I shall have to try! We have carrots and thyme in the garden. The oblong flan dish makes it looks extra nice too!

  2. Thank you Bridget.
    Yes I do like to use my rectangular flan dish a lot. It makes a change from the round fluted one. I hope you enjoy this flan with YOUR HOMEGROWN VEG - oh how I envy :)
    Take care x

  3. Lovely recipe with a variety!!

  4. Oh yeah, I'd go for he cream. This is the first recipe I have seen for a savory flan. It is most appealing.

  5. Looks lovely...I'm thankful soup weather is here...Have you got any ideas for parsnips???

    Wishing you and D a wonderful New Year...You both deserve it and I look forward to more fab recipes.

  6. Thank you Teena Mary,

    Thanks you Stephen. I'd go for the cream too, had I some in the flat :)

    Thank you e.
    See here for parsnip recipe ideas. I'd recommend the parsnip loaf, the parsnip samaosa, but you decide
    There is also a parsnip soup one with wild rice.

    Thank you sooo much for your warm wishes for the NY, Its the first time in my life that I am actually looking forward to a new year and a new start :) Thank you, hopefully 2012 will be kinder to us both x

  7. I know exactly what you mean about homegrown carrots tasting more 'carroty'.

    A good tip I learnt when working in a supermarket is that if you have to buy carrots from the supermarkets ALWAYS buy the already bagged up ones NOT the loose ones.

    The carrots themselves and their flavour keep better and they will last for longer. You will find the loose ones go soft and bendy (not a good look for carrots!!) a lot quicker. Carrots once picked do not like air.

    Sue xx

  8. Thanks Sue.
    Fingers crossed that I'll be able to grow some of my own next year x

    I completely agree wih you about buying carrots already bagged up ones NOT the loose ones, but recently my husband has starting picking them indiviually (watching out budget) and then when he tastes the difference, he realises why we've never done it before. There is certainly something to them not liking the air.

  9. You're right about home grown carrots tasting and smelling more carroty, it's the same with most home grown things. I never realised this until I started growing my own. This year was the first year that we've had any success with carrots, I've still got quite a few bagged up in the freezer.

  10. Wow this looks so delicious. I've been finding some beautiful carrots at a farmers market and would love to give this a try.

  11. I am so beside myself--this flan is absolutely beautiful! You have the girl who cannot stand eggs actually want to eat this :)

  12. Thanks Jo.
    Its so funny the differences in food we notice simply by growing our own :)
    OOh lucky you to have some in the freezer.

    Thank you Stephanie.
    I hope you do give this a try.
    And moreso enjoy :)

    Thank you so much Cara.
    Your comment means a lot. I feature a mix of vegetarian and vegan recipes on my blog. Hope you have fun browsing :)

  13. Hi Shaheen! The flan looks lovely! I rather wonder how long the flan is... maybe long enough to have leftovers for me? I love carrots and I think carrot cakes are heavenly. It'd be lovely if you won the competition, it'd be nice to have a nice fancy meal at your favourite restaurant wouldn't it? ;)

  14. Thanks Sumaiyyah.
    It would still be the same serving as the round tin - 4 to 6 slices, to your question, yes there are 2 slices left :)

    You'll be pleased to note that I have some more carrot recipes to share later, so stay tuned.
    Yes, it would be nice to win, i'd be happy with just a book to be honest, but it would be nice to eat out - its something we don't do often - only when we have guests over, very rarely as a couple. If I win I do have a few places (not in Scotland though)that I would like to eat at ;)

  15. That looks lovely. You are right about the differance in taste when you grow your own. They have that lovely carroty smell and taste. Some of the shop bought ones taste of nothing.

  16. Looks like a winner to me! I've been told that as a baby I loved carrots and squash so much that my nose turned orange. Thankfully, it's no longer that color, but I still love carrots and squash. Oh, and carrots are just perfect with thyme!

  17. I've never had a savory flan before, but this sounds delicious (and the carrots are a nice touch). I never stopped to think about carrots as a highly versatile ingredient, but you're absolutely right - they're so many options and they're so readily available. ::deep in thought::

  18. Thanks Lauren.
    I'm not surprised that you liked carrots as a baby, but squash - mm that is interesting. I came to squash late in life.

    Thanks JavelinWarrior.
    Ah you should try this, its a good change from heavy cheesy Quiche, in that its lighter,
    Glad I've nudged you in the right direction to the versatility of carrots.

  19. This looks absolutely gorgeous and festive :)
    I would have loved that carrot contest, but I'm a bit time restricted at the moment :(
    and we are off for Christmas holidays tormorrow, so no more food events this month

  20. Thanks Torwen,
    Does doesn't it, I had not thought of it that way.
    I am sure there will be many more more contests such as this one next year. Still waiting to hear the results :)


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