Flan (pie)

A flan, in English and other cuisines, is a dish with an open, rimmed pastry or sponge base containing a sweet or savory filling; examples are quiche lorraine, custard tart, and the South African melktert.

Flan in a foiled pie container.
TypeDessert or snack
Place of originEurope
Region or stateGlobal
Associated national cuisineRoman cuisine
Serving temperatureRoom temperature or cold


Flan is known in Roman cuisine. It was often a savory dish, as in "eel flan"; sweet flans were also enjoyed.

In the Middle Ages, both sweet and savory flans (almonds, cinnamon & sugar; cheese, curd, spinach, fish) were very popular in Europe, especially during Lent, when meat was forbidden.[1]


The English word "flan", and the earlier forms "flaune" and "flawn", come from the Old French flaon (modern French flan), in turn from the early Medieval Latin fladōn-em, derived from the Old High German flado, a sort of flat cake, probably from an Indo-European root for "flat" or "broad".[2]

See also


  1. Olver, Lynne. "history notes - puddings". Foodtimeline. Archived from the original on 9 May 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  2. Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition (1989); Petit Robert 1973.
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