1. A famous Spanish baked custard coated with caramel. See also crème caramel. 2. A round pastry tart with a filling that's sweet (such as custard or fruit) or savory (vegetable, meat or savory custard). The pastry is usually formed and baked in a special flan ring, a bottomless metal ring with straight (about 1½-inch-high) sides. The flan ring is set on a baking sheet before the dough is baked.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.