A favourite from my childhood, this strawberry flan recipe is extremely easy to make and great for entertaining too. Lush, ripe strawberries are all piled into a sponge flan case and topped with simple jelly to hold it all together. It’s vibrant, sweet, fresh and incredibly light.
This is my mums recipe and I was reminded of it when she found my first recipe book a little while back. It had a bunch of recipes that I loved, including this one that I had lovingly written out. Goodness knows where this little book had been hiding all that time but I must have been about 20 when I created it. Even way back then I loved food and finding a way to keep my favourite recipes.
I know you’ll love this strawberry flan recipe because it’s;
- so easy! Just 7 ingredients and one of them is water
- super quick to make – aside from the setting time for the jelly, this takes about 20 minutes of effort.
- fresh and bright – strawberries at their peak are just cut in half and piled up
- light and a perfect Summer dessert
- You can make the base ahead of time
Strawberries are one of my favourite fruits. Sweet, juicy but firm and so fresh, I have loads of recipes on this blog for the strawberry lover. From this Strawberry Almond Tart, to easy food gift Strawberry White Chocolate Truffles and even fresh Strawberry Milk.
Is it cake or tart?
Neither and both all at once. Strawberry flan looks like a tart but with the sponge on the bottom is almost a single layer cake. It’s a summer dessert for kids and adults alike and uses minimal ingredients. The sponge flan base takes mere minutes in the oven and is just one of those no-fuss recipes that’s great to have in your recipe arsenal.
How to make it – step by step
The flan base recipe is mums easy 2-2-2-1 formula. That’s 2 eggs, 2oz sugar, 2oz flour and 1 tablespoon of water. A couple of quick notes;
- The recipe calls for self-raising flour but I don’t keep it in my pantry. Why? Quite frankly, if you saw the amount of stuff in my pantry you’d understand – there’s no more room. I make my own by adding baking powder to plain flour and either version works in this sponge flan recipe.
- Secondly, while mum might work in ounces, I actually grew up using grams so I’ve shown both measures in the recipe. Sadly, 2-55-55-1 doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, though. 🙂
Topping your flan
The topping on this single layer strawberry sponge cake is just 2 punnets of strawberries and 1 packet of jelly (jello).
What is a flan tin
You will need one special piece of equipment for this recipe – a flan tin. It looks similar to a tart tin but has a raised middle so that when the sponge is inverted it has an outer ridge running around a depression where you put the fillings.
My tin is 11 inches wide but you can use a smaller tin as well. A 9 inch tin will also work and the strawberries will sit higher.
Can I use frozen strawberries?
No. The filling in strawberry flan must be fresh strawberries. Frozen strawberries release too much water as they thaw which will leave you with a soggy sponge base – definitely not appealing. I have loads of tips on baking with frozen fruit but when served raw in a tart or cake they must be fresh and ripe.
Can I use other fruits?
Yes, you can definitely turn this into a fruit flan recipe using other fresh fruits that you love. Berries are definitely my favourite but you could really use anything from peaches to mango. You could also see my Fruit Custard Tart recipe for some design inspiration.
- If using larger fruits make sure to cut them into smallish pieces – this just makes it easier to cut through.
- If using other berries, don’t cut them. Most other berries have a high water content and you don’t want it escaping and making the sponge base soggy. They are small enough that you don’t need to cut them anyway.
- Make sure to use a matching jelly flavour or a neutral flavoured jelly.
Can I add creme patissiere (pastry cream)?
You could add a thin layer of creme patissiere to the base before piling on the strawberries but not too thick or the jelly will run straight over the sides when you add it. Or you could just make my fruit custard tart which will give you much more room for filling.
Serving and storage
- You can make the flan base up to 2 days ahead and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Once the fruit and jelly have been added, it’s best to eat this within a day or two as the longer it sits the more moisture will soak into the sponge.
- Serve this fruit flan as is. It’s flavourful and needs nothing more but if you must have something, a little unsweetened whipped cream would do the job.
- If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers they should be stored in the fridge
- Strawberry flan can’t be frozen. On freezing the chemical structure of both jelly and berries changes and it will become a soggy mess on thawing.
I doubt you would have enough left to freeze anyway. Since this is so light, you can serve up largish portions of this and still feel like it was a light dessert. I get anywhere between 6-8 serves from mine.
Beautiful and summery, you seriously have to give this delicious strawberry sponge flan a go. You won’t regret it.
More recipes you’ll love
Simple Strawberry Flan
- 2 large eggs
- 55 g caster (superfine) sugar (2oz / scant 1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon water (notes)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla paste or extract, optional
- 55 g self raising flour (2oz) (notes)
- 2 punnets strawberries, hulled and cut in half (500g / 1.1lb)
- 1 packet strawberry jelly crystals (jello) (85g / 3oz)
- 1 cup boiling water (250ml / 8.5fl oz)
- 200 ml cold water (7 fl oz)
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced
- Grease and flour a flan tin (note 3)
FOR THE SPONGE BASE
- Beat together the eggs and sugar until very pale and thick (it should double in volume). Add the water and vanilla and beat again. Now add the water and sift over the flour. Gently fold through until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into your prepared flan tin.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until just starting to turn golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool, then turn out onto a cake plate.
PREPARE THE JELLY
- Pour the jelly crystals into a large glass bowl (this will allow it to begin setting quicker). Add the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add the cold water and mix. Place in the fridge until required. The jelly will need to be cold and just starting to set before adding it to the flan.
- Give the cold jelly a whisk to make it smooth. Pour about a third of the jelly into the flan base and spread evenly. Top with strawberries. Then slowly and carefully pour the remaining jelly over the top, nudging the strawberries here and there to allow it to seep into all the gaps. You may not need all of the jelly (depending on the depth of your flan).
- Allow to set for 3-4 hours before serving.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon
- If you don't have self raising flour, use a combination of 55g (2oz) plain flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
- When greasing your flan tin make sure to get into all the grooves. Put some flour in the pan and tap the pan to move the flour all around to cover it.
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
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