Definition of flan in US English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Daily specials keep things lively, from a haunting goat-cheese flan to a melting confection of strawberries and coconut ice cream.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is the classic pastry for flans and often has a little sugar, even when used for savoury dishes, but rarely egg.’
    • ‘The couple had lobster ravioli to start and apple flan for dessert, with coffee and mints to follow.’
    • ‘The pastry crusts were not only as part of the dish, pies and flans would be moulded and decorated with flower heads in season.’
    • ‘Supplemented with some sea spinach harvested along the dunes, these went into a tasty flan I baked yesterday.’
    • ‘I considered myself something of a master with pies, flans, tarts, vol-au-vents and quiches.’
    pastry, tartlet, quiche, strudel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A sponge base with a sweet topping.
      • ‘Their sweet temptations go on to include more than 15 varieties of dessert, including flans, gateaux, fruity pies, and cheesecakes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 disk 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’.