One of the things that I always love about visiting my parents in the summer is getting to eat my mother’s fresh fruit flans. When I went back to my parents place recently, strawberries were just starting to get ripe so my mom put together her patented German Erdeertorte for us.
The basic recipe for a torte or flan is to make the flan base, then fill it up with fresh fruit, and optionally cover the fruit with a glaze. My mom used a pear juice cornstarch glaze on her particular flan which turned out quite nicely.
What I love most about my mother’s torte is eating them a few days after they are made, after the juices from the fruit has seeped into the flan a bit, and made it a bit mushy. I know most people hate this, but for me this is heaven.
On my way home from my parents I picked up 2 flats of strawberries from my favorite farm in the valley, Zelaney Farms. I had to crank my air conditioning the whole drive home just to make sure the strawberries stayed cool. The day after getting home I went to work on putting together my own version of my mother’s erdbeertorte.
The flan I created was a bit different than my mothers. It turned out a little more solid, and a bit skinnier. Here is my flan recipe:
3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cups soft butter
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Start by mixing the eggs in a stand mixer until they become frothy. Then slowly mix in the sugar and vanilla. When the sugar is fully mixed in, add the butter and mix until creamed. Finally sift in the flour, salt and baking powder and fold into the mixture and fully mixed. Grease an 11″ flan pan, and sprinkle with white breadcrumbs. Pour the batter into the plan plan and bake for 12-15 minutes until the flan is a nice golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.
Once the flan has cooled you can load it up with fruit. I went a little overboard with the number of strawberries I put on my flan, mainly because I had so many. Finally you will want to cover your fruit with a glaze. I made a lychee/strawberry glaze. Basically I mixed 1/2 cup lychee juice, with 1/2 cup strawberry juice from my cut strawberries. Added 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of gelatin. Heated the mixture until it became nice and thick. I let the mixture cool briefly before carefully spooning it over the strawberries. The glaze turned out really nice. It had hints of lychee, yet was not too overpowering of the strawberries.
Of course no German Erdbeertorte should be eating without lots of Schlagsahne (whipping cream). Overall I am happy with the results of my flan. Probably not as good as my Mom’s, but still pretty delicious.