Definition of flan in English:



  • 1A baked dish consisting of an open-topped pastry case with a savoury or sweet filling.

    ‘an egg and bacon flan’
    as modifier ‘a fluted flan tin’
    • ‘I considered myself something of a master with pies, flans, tarts, vol-au-vents and quiches.’
    • ‘My sister Lisa would make a cream of asparagus soup, cranberry sauce, two flans, stuffing, a chocolate-pecan tart, and of course, her Scottish scones.’
    • ‘The couple had lobster ravioli to start and apple flan for dessert, with coffee and mints to follow.’
    • ‘Supplemented with some sea spinach harvested along the dunes, these went into a tasty flan I baked yesterday.’
    • ‘It is the classic pastry for flans and often has a little sugar, even when used for savoury dishes, but rarely egg.’
    • ‘The pastry crusts were not only as part of the dish, pies and flans would be moulded and decorated with flower heads in season.’
    • ‘This version came in individual circles and although the pastry and egg mixture was good, the pastry overwhelmed the egg as the flan was too shallow.’
    • ‘Bake the flan for 25-30 minutes until the top sets and begins to lightly colour.’
    • ‘Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake the flan for one hour, or until the filling is puffed and golden and just jiggles in the center when you tap the pan.’
    • ‘A choice of Yorkshire stand pie, roasted vegetable flan, Yorkshire cheese and oatmeal flan or roasted Yorkshire ham with salad left no doubt as to which part of the country we were in!’
    • ‘Daily specials keep things lively, from a haunting goat-cheese flan to a melting confection of strawberries and coconut ice cream.’
    • ‘The puddings were mainly flans, pastries and coffee gateau, which none of us really fancied, and we all went for a perfectly acceptable fruit salad alternative.’
    • ‘We had a lunch of tomatoes with the local soft goat's cheese, suckling pig braised with gnocchi and a flan of sweet chestnut purée with local wine for 16 euros each.’
    pastry, tartlet, quiche, strudel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A sponge base with a sweet topping.
      • ‘In the cookery section, you can bring along those apple tarts, sponge flans, cheese cake, fruit loaves, brown scones, white scones, brown bread, white bread and jams.’
      • ‘The dessert is chilled until it sets and is usually turned out onto a plate to make an attractive plateau shape like a flan, but you can also serve it in dishes or glasses.’
      • ‘Their sweet temptations go on to include more than 15 varieties of dessert, including flans, gateaux, fruity pies, and cheesecakes.’
      • ‘She spends her day baking flans for the convent coffee shop.’
      • ‘Super cook Ilse also made 12 strawberry flans, two kiwi fruit flans and seven gateaux, malt loaves and gingerbread to sell on the stalls.’
  • 2A disc of metal such as one from which a coin is made.


Mid 19th century: from French (originally denoting a round cake) from Old French flaon, from medieval Latin flado, fladon-, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch vlade ‘custard’.