January 30, 2016


fruit flan

My friend Pauline recently did a post about fruit flan, making a flan with a sponge base using a mould with a raised bottom.  You can read about it here.

This set me on a mission, a fruitless (sorry for the pun) quest to find my own old fruit flan tin from the 1970’s.  I can picture it still, a pale aluminium tin manufactured specifically to bake the sponge flans that were the height of sophistication at dinner parties and posh Sunday teas back then.  Using the recipe from my Homepride Flourgraders’ recipe book I would create many a stunning table centrepiece, using tinned mandarin orange segments, grape halves and Quick Jel.

I have no idea what happened to that tin.  I hunted high and low, but it was nowhere to be found.  I can’t believe that I took it to the charity shop, less still that I have lost it.  How do you lose a cake tin?

fruit flan2

Anyway, Lakeland to the rescue, I acquired another one – and was delighted to find that Quick Jel is still readily available in supermarkets. 

fruit flan6

There is an essential difference between a flan tin and a tart tin.  A sponge flan tin has the raised bit in the middle so that a well is formed in the sponge to hold the fruit.  A tart tin makes a pastry shell which does the same.  Sponge flans seem to have gone out of fashion and I dare say that most people would buy a sponge flan case rather than make their own.  I also noticed that they too are still readily available in supermarkets, which suggests that presumably someone must buy them, but I haven’t actually seen one on a menu or served at gatherings for decades.

fruit flan5

For this flan I used the Be-Ro book recipe for a whisked sponge, one that has no butter in it, like a Swiss roll sponge.  I added a little lemon zest to improve the flavour of it and filled it with some of the raspberries and blueberries that I got last summer from a pick-your-own place and stored in the freezer.  And of course the essential Quick Jel.

fruit flan4

I was very pleased with it.  You can’t beat raspberries for flavour, especially in winter, but even so it was very nice indeed.  So nice that I can’t wait for a need to make another one – using mandarin orange segments, grapes and possibly some kiwi slices.  Sophisticated or what !!


2 medium eggs

75g caster sugar

75g self raising flour

grated zest of ½ a lemon

fresh, tinned or frozen (thawed) fruit, about a tin or a large punnet should be enough

1 sachet Quick Jel powder (or you could make your own glaze using arrowroot or half a packet of made up jelly)


To make the flan case, preheat the oven to 220°C / 200° fan / gas mk 7.  Grease a 20cm flan tin and line the raised up bit of the base with a circle of baking paper (to ensure easy removal of the flan).

Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly, using a hand held electric whisk.  Then add the sugar and whisk well for several minutes until pale and thick.  Lightly fold in the flour and lemon zest.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 7-9 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch.  Turn out onto a wire rack.

When completely cool, fill with your chosen fruit and top with Quick Jel made up to the packet instructions.  Leave in a cool place for at least 30 minutes for the Jel to set.  For added retro flair you could pipe cream rosettes using whipped cream around the margin of the fruit when the Jel or glaze has set.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, crème fraîche, or a spoonful of single cream over each slice.

Serves 6.


  1. Mmm, that looks good. It's many years since I was offered a fruit flan too, but your recipe looks so simple that I may get the tin and have a go. :)

    1. Perpetua, it was incredibly easy to make the flan case. It took longer to prepare the Quick Jel!

  2. I don't think I've ever made a sponge fruit flan. I need to get a tin! Yours looks delightful!

    1. Dom, I wouldn't be surprised if your mum had made something like this in the past. It's a great retro dessert and I think I'll be getting plenty of use from my new tin.

  3. Oh yes, this really does bring back memories. I would SO love a piece of this now. A few months back I came across my old (very old) flan tin but it wasn't posh aluminium, it was cheap steel and had been reduced to a pile of rust. Since then I've had a replacement on my list called "things I really would like to buy but probably never will". But I'm sorry to say that I can't remember ever using Quick Jel - I can't think why not. Happily, it seems I'm not too late to try it.

    1. Phil, it's such an easy dessert/cake to rustle up. You can of course make it more complicated by putting a layer of crème pâtissière under the fruit.
      I can see a run on flan tins and Quick Jel coming........possibly.

  4. I LOVE a good old fashioned fruit flan Jean and yours is TOP drawer!

  5. I haven't had one of these since childhood - it looks lovely. That's a great flan mould; they're not usually so deep

  6. AnonymousMay 03, 2024

    I always make my lemon meringue with a home made sponge base, but lately the sponge won’t come out of the tin. Is it because I use melted butter