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 lovethegarden.com.
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.
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
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.