This is one of my favourite egg dishes because it’s simple to make and has a smooth, silky texture. If you prefer, bake the flan in four individual ramekins, reducing the baking time slightly. You can serve the flan hot or cold with the tarragon and fennel biscuits. They can be made by hand or in the food processor, making sure you don’t overprocess the dough; otherwise, they will be tough. To speed things up in the morning, you can measure the ingredients the night before but don’t mix them together. Alternatively, you can make the biscuits ahead of time and reheat in a 350 F oven for 5 minutes.
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Cherry Tomato Flan
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 cups best-quality cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup whipping cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp cracked fennel seeds
3/4 cup cold butter
6 tbsp milk
For the flan
Preheat oven to 450 F.
In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, basil and thyme. Divide mixture in two and reserve.
Place tomatoes in a bowl and toss with half of the herbed oil. Season them with salt and pepper and lay flesh-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until tomatoes are cooked but still juicy and just beginning to caramelize. Set aside to cool.
Reduce oven heat to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch ceramic flan pan or a 2.5-litre rectangular gratin dish. Lightly oil the dish. Place roasted tomatoes tightly together, flesh-side down, in a layer on the bottom of the pan.
Beat eggs with cream, season well with salt and pepper and pour over tomatoes. Crumble goat cheese over top. Place flan pan in a larger pan. Fill larger pan with enough boiling water to reach half-way up the sides of the flan pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until eggs have set.
Remove from oven and drizzle remaining herbed oil over top. Serve hot or cold.
For the biscuits
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Sift flour with baking powder and salt in large bowl. Sprinkle over tarragon and fennel seeds. Grate butter over flour and then work with fingers until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add milk and mix with fork until dough just forms. Do not over-mix; otherwise, the biscuits will be tough.
Remove dough and place on floured board. Knead for 1 minute. Roll or pat to 3/4-inch thickness.
Cut into 3-inch rounds, re-rolling as necessary. You should get about 5 scones. Bake on cookie sheet at for about 12 to 14 minutes or until golden.
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Suggested Wine Pairings
Champagne, or a more affordable sparkling wine, such as French crémant or Italian prosecco, is also the best option for the tomato flan. Eggs love bubbly almost as much as your mom and I do. Sauvignon blanc, the perfect partner for goat cheese, is a good still-wine option. If your choice must be red, err on the side of a light, zippy style, such as beaujolais or Canadian gamay. – Beppi Crosariol