Sunday, 26 October 2008

Far Breton aux pruneaux

The weather has truly snapped over to “cold” now and coupled with the dark mornings I need my comfort food more than ever (of course, in the summer it’s the warm weather and daylight that results in me needing comfort food). What could be more comforting than a dish comprising of a baked custard batter and rum?

Here it is fresh from the oven:

I’ll admit that there were several points during making this recipe when I had doubts. It seemed so runny and compared to other Far Breton recipes it had a much higher milk content. Then the instructions said to “push the prunes down into the batter” – mine didn’t need any help! The recipe also said to brush the egg yolk on the top before putting the Far in the oven – how can you brush on top of liquid? All I’m trying to get across is that I’ve changed the instructions slightly to reflect my experience of making this dish. As you can see, the results are yummy.

Each slice is unique due to the prune placement. The prunes go squishy and soft:

A Far Breton is a traditional cake from the Brittany region of France. “Far” is a sweet batter similar to clafoutis but more eggy. Intriguingly, the dish is served for breakfast as well as dessert; I like the idea of that!

The Far can be served either hot or cold. Both the CCM (Caked Crusader’s Ma) and CCD (Caked Crusader’s Da) preferred it hot whereas I preferred it at room temperature. Heating it makes the texture softer and brings out a more eggy custard flavour. Here are the slices ready for reheating:

150g plain flour
125g caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
500ml whole milk
Dash of rum
200g pitted prunes

For the glaze: 1 egg yolk

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Grease a 20cm gratin dish or alternatively line a 20cm round springform tin with baking/greaseproof paper.
- Mix the flour and sugar together then make a well in the centre.
- Add the eggs and whisk until the batter is thick and smooth.
- Keep the whisk running and slowly pour in the milk and rum.
- Pour the batter (it will be very liquid) into the tin/gratin dish and place the prunes evenly into the batter. They will sink as the batter is so thin.
- Place in the oven and bake for at least 35 minutes before attempting to brush on the egg yolk glaze. Mine was not firm enough to do that before.
- Bake further until the top is nice and golden and there’s not too much wobble when you gently shake the tin. Mine took an additional 35 minutes but I’d advise keeping an eye on it as the original recipe said it would only need 30 minutes in total! Either my oven is insane or the recipe understated it!
- The Far will sink slightly on cooling – that’s to be expected.
- Serve slightly warm with my preference, whipped cream, or if you wish to make me cry, crème fraiche.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


glamah16 said...

Oh wow. When I saw this I though about that blogger Clarie in Brittany. Whatever happened to her? I love the rum addition.

Dee said...

What could be more comforting than a dish comprising of a baked custard batter and rum?

Not much, my friend.

Cakelaw said...

I like a good baked custard and am a prunes and rice fan from way back - so this sounds really tempting.

I have given you an award here:

Rosie said...

WOW this looks and sounds magnificent C.C. I am going to bookmark this recipe :)

Rosie x

PG said...

now i know what i will do with mine. wonderful recipe!

Anonymous said...

Mine was so runny when i added the milk. But turned out fine!!

Anonymous said...

Toss prunes in flour to stop them works, try it. Very good recipe, but I added 1 tsp vanilla and brandy instead of rum.