The Parmesan flans are delicious little savory pies with a soft and velvety texture, perfect to be served as a refined appetizer, for a romantic dinner or during the holidays: at Christmas or Valentine’s day, these Parmesan flans will make you do a great impression with very little effort.
The Parmesan flan actually looks great: it’s look like a dessert or like a gourmet dish, while, as you can see, it is a simple recipe, suitable for everyone. The Parmesan flans are a based on eggs, ricotta cheese, milk and parmesan: they are therefore without flour or yeast. This gives them a unique texture.
The Parmesan flans are cooked in the oven in a bain-marie (water bath). Despite what you may think, it is not a difficult cooking method: just a few little tricks and the result is guaranteed. Excellent on their own, the Parmesan flan can be served with an accompanying sauce. I used pesto, but these Parmesan Flan could also be served with a simple marinara sauce; you will find other ideas for serving your Parmesan Flan at the end of the recipe.
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Video recipe of the day
- Preparation time10 Minutes
- Cooking time30 Minutes
- Serving4 servings
- Cooking methodBain-marie
Ingredients for 4 Parmesan flans
How to prepare Parmesan flans
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To prepare the Parmesan flans start by shelling the eggs in a bowl; add a pinch of salt (do not overdue, because the Parmesan will already give a lot of flavor to the dish), a grind of pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
Beat the eggs with the electric whisks at high speed for a couple of minutes, until you get a clear and rather fluffy mixture.
Add the ricotta cheese and Parmesan. Knead the mixture with the electric whisks for a couple of minutes, then add the milk.
Keep beating with the electric whisks until all the milk is incorporated, obtaining a rather liquid mixture.
Grease well 4 baking cups (you can also use the disposable ones) and pour the mixture filling them almost completely (leaving about half a centimeter from the edge).
As I have already said, the parmesan flan are cooked in the oven in a bain-marie (water bath). Here’s how to proceed. Preheat the oven to 320 °F (160 °C). Heat plenty of water on the stove or in the microwave until it boils.
For a perfect bain-marie cooking, choose an high-sided tray (not too large, a loafcake mold is fine) and place the parmesan flans over it.
Slowly pour the boiling water into the tray, being careful not to pour it on the flans. You need to fill up to two-thirds of the height of the flans.
Place the tray in the oven and bake the parmesan flan for 30 minutes, without opening the oven door for at least 25 minutes. After this time, you can check if the parmesan flans are done by pricking them with a wooden toothpick: the mixture inside must remain slightly moist, but not liquid.
Take the Parmesan flans out of the oven and immediately remove the molds from the water.
Let rest the flans for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the mold, otherwise they could break. Once warm, flip the parmesan flans over individual plates and garnish them with the pesto. Serve the Parmesan flans warm or cold.
Once baked, the Parmesan flans can be stored in the fridge for 2 days. You can reheat them slightly in the oven or in the microwave before serving. You can freeze the Parmesan flans only if uncooked. Then let them completely defrost in the refrigerator before baking.
How to garnish Parmesan flan
As stated above, the Parmesan flans can also be served on their own, because they are already tasty and they have a soft and pleasant texture on the palate. An accompanying sauce can give a nice chromatic contrast to the dish as well as being good for different combinations. I used the basil pesto, which gives the dish a crunchy and unique texture due to the presence of pine nuts.
Otherwise, the Parmesan flans served with a little honey or a balsamic vinegar reduction are a simple and mouth-watering alternative!
Translation by Giacomo Meucci