Greengage Flan

A refreshing dessert for a summer meal, this Greengage Flan, made with a rich shortcrust pastry, should be served with plenty of whipped cream.

6 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

3 oz. butter

2 teaspoons sugar egg yolk, lightly beaten to

3 tablespoons cold water

2 oz. sugar

10 fl. oz. water

8 oz. greengages, washed, halved and stoned

1 teaspoon arrowroot dissolved in

1 tablespoon cold water

First prepare the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the butter and cut it into small pieces with a table knife. With your fingertips, rub the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar.

Add the beaten egg yolk with 2 table-spoons of the water and mix it in with the knife. Then knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth. Add more water if the dough is too dry. Form the dough into a ball and wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper. Place it in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a circle about

½ inch thick. Lift the dough on the rolling pin and lay it over an

8-inch flan tin. Ease the dough into the tin and trim the edges with a knife.

Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork and line it with greaseproof or waxed paper. Weigh the paper down with dried beans or rice and place it in the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the tin from the oven and remove the beans or rice and paper. Return the tin to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes to brown the pastry.

Remove the flan case from the oven and set it aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

In a medium-sized saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes.

Add the greengages and simmer for 15 minutes, or until they are just tender.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the greengages from the syrup to a small bowl. Set aside to cool.

Stir the dissolved arrowroot into the syrup. Bring the syrup back to the boil, stirring constantly, and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Place the greengages in the pastry case and cover them with the syrup.

Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature, then place the flan in the refrigerator. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

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