Where did Flan originally come from?

What is the difference between pudding, flan or flammeri?

The pudding (steam cooker)

A pudding is a sweet or savory dish based on a béchamel sauce or a foam mixture made from yolk and sugar or from butter, yolk, (sugar) and snow that is cooked in a tightly closed form in a water bath for a long time and then turned over (e.g. B. Moor in a shirt, spinach pudding). Puddings are usually served warm and often with a suitable sauce.

The term pudding ("dumpling dumpling", "serviette dumpling") was introduced in England in the 17th century and originally referred to spicy pastries cooked in a cloth in a water bath and served hot. Later, instead of cloths, shapes were used that could be overturned. Thanks to the lower sugar prices, not only savory but also sweet puddings were prepared. In German-speaking countries, the pudding was first called "starch pudding", then "starch pudding" and finally just pudding.

A so-called Jello (or often just plain pudding) is a cold dessert made from pudding powder or semolina, boiled in milk and often served with fruit or a suitable sauce. A soufflé consists of a lighter mass than a pudding, is also cooked in a water bath and served in the mold. If the pudding mixture is not cooked in a water bath, but baked in a greased form in the oven, it is called a casserole.

The Flammeri

A flammeri (from English flummary for porridge) is a cold dessert made from milk, sugar, starch products and fruit, which is turned upside down for serving and often served with fruit or a fruit sauce.

In contrast to the pudding, which in its original version is tied exclusively with flour and often additionally with egg yolk, a flammeri is boiled with cornstarch, semolina, polenta, grits (crushed grain), sago, etc. The mass for Flammeris is cooked and then filled into molds, while the pudding mass is first cooked in the mold in a water bath (on the stove or in the oven). Basically, those desserts that are commonly referred to as puddings are actually flammeris.

The flan

A flan is a very loose and light mass of eggs, liquid and sugar or spices, thickened in a water bath. A distinction is made between sweet flans, which consist of egg, milk or cream, sugar and aromatics, and savory flans made of egg, soup or vegetable juice or puree, sometimes cream, salt and spices. Both can be served warm or cold. In France, there is usually a little flour in the mixture and the flan is often baked in a tart form on a shortcrust pastry base. The finished cake is also called a flan.

The mousse

The mousse is an uncooked variation that is similar in consistency to the Flammeri. To do this, gelatine is added to a frothy, airy cream and poured uncooked into a mold or small molds to set. There are numerous sweet and savory variants.

Molds & forms

In addition to the classic tin pudding form, oven-safe forms with glass lids or ceramic terrine forms can also be used for puddings. Oven-proof molds of all kinds are suitable for a flan, but also conventional cake molds, because in contrast to the pudding molds, the molds for a flan do not necessarily have to be closed with a lid. Pudding molds made of plastic or silicone, which are not heat-resistant, as the mass is boiled during preparation and then only has to cool down, are also suitable for a Flammeri.

Further information:

Pudding recipes