No 2: Chilled Lemon Flan

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I love this dessert. It has fond memories from when Sue and I ran the Surrey Hills Cookery School and we taught this to so many people because it’s so easy and delicious.  The perfect end to so many meals including BBQs where its fresh, zesty flavour cleanses your palate.  Serve with a scattering of raspberries, blueberries or both, and a dusting of icing sugar before serving.  A drizzle of cream is a luxury but not essential. I have included a compote that you can spread on the top, or serve as an accompaniment, but it is not essential and it is just as lovely without.

To get ahead you can make this two days in advance and chill, but it’s perfect for freezing too. If you are a small household, divide into portions before freezing so that you can remove just a portion at a time when you need a special treat.  After all we could all do with one of those occasionally in these trying times.

Serves 6

You will need a 7 inch (18cm flan dish or loose bottom tin if you want to turn it out)

150g Biscuits (Digestive, Hobnobs, ginger)

75g butter (margarine is fine)

170ml double cream

1 can condensed milk

2 large lemons

Fresh raspberries/blueberries to decorate

Cream to serve - optional


2 TBSP strawberry or raspberry jam

200g berries (frozen summer fruits are perfect for this)

1 tbsp caster sugar to adjust the sweetness if necessary.


1.Melt the butter or margarine.

2. Crush the biscuits in the bowl with the end of a rolling pin or in a plastic bag. Add the melted butter/margarine and stir until the mixture sticks together. Tip into your flan ring and smooth to an even thickness with the back of a metal spoon.  Chill. Wipe out the bowl thoroughly with kitchen paper, no need to wash.

3. Zest the lemons on the fine side of a grater.  (This means just grating the zest and not the pith.  The citric oil is only in the very thin yellow zest, the white pith is bitter).

4. Place the condensed milk and cream in the bowl and whisk together with a hand or electric mixer.  No need to overbeat just amalgamate.  With a sieve placed over the bowl add the juice of half a lemon.  Whisk together.  Do not panic that the mixture looks as though it has curdled.  Repeat adding half the juice of a lemon at a time with a good mix in between.  As if by magic the mixture will suddenly thicken. (Very occasionally the mixture would not thicken.  Don’t worry it will still set in the fridge).

5. Add the zest and stir this in with a spoon otherwise it just gets stuck in the whisk.  Pour onto the biscuit base and chill.  Lick the bowl!

6. To make the compote add the jam and fruit to a small sauce pan and cook gently until softened and broken down.  If the mixture feels to thick add a spoonful of water. Add sugar to taste and serve with the lemon flan cut into thin wedges.


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