Two friends asked me for this recipe this week. It must be a sign that its cooling off here in central Texas if folks are considering turning their ovens on! Anyway, by apparently popular demand I give you “far Breton”. Imagine that Yorkshire pudding married crepe Suzette and they had a baby… On second thought, never mind, that would probably just cause an international incident of some sort.
Far Breton is an eggy, rich, dense puddingesque breakfast, snack and/or dessert. Does that help explain it? It would be a custard or flan but for the flour. It would be a pancake but for the lack of rising agent and the proportions of liquid to dry. It is made with a very thin batter, and bakes up sort of like a sweet failed popover. Hmmm…. it really tastes much better than that sounds. Honest!
Here’s the nice thing. This is incredibly easy to make, and while it is “oooohhhhhhh”-worthy right out of the oven, it needs to sit and set before it is dished up, so there is none of that worrisome soufflé business of rousing your guests if they’re late to the table for breakfast or rushing dinner guests to get to dessert. Timing is *not* of the essence with this dish.
I use my “verre utile” when I make far Breton. I brought it back from France and it really is a handy thing.If you measure all the dry ingredients first you only need this one measure for the entire recipe, none of that wet measure/dry measure foolishness. Simple.
The only trick to this is that I cut the prunes in half both to make them smaller bites and to be really sure that there are no pits. I’ve had amazingly bad luck with olive pits, cherry stones, and the like, so I’m cautious. And, if the prunes seem a bit over dry, you can macerate them in a bit of rum or brandy for an hour or so before getting started with the actual prep. Mmmm…
So, here’s the recipe in French with my translation and notes in parentheses. Try it, and let me know what you think!
Nombre de personnes : 6 (serves 6)
Difficulté : Facile (difficulty : easy)
Préparation : 10 min
Cuisson : 45 min (cooking time : 45-50 minutes)
100 g de sucre (1/4 C sugar)
125 g de farine (2/3 C flour)
3 oeufs (3 eggs)
1 sachet de sucre vanillé (1 packet of vanilla sugar* or 1 t vanilla extract)
1/2 litre de lait (2 C milk (2% or whole))
des pruneaux (about 15 prunes, cut in half)
une cuillerée à soupe de rhum (1 T rum or brandy optional)
(pinch of salt)
(Preheat the oven to 350F Butter a glass or ceramic oven-proof baking dish and scatter the cut prunes over the bottom.)
Faites tiédir le lait. Mélangez le sucre, la farine, les oeufs, le sucre vanillé et le lait chaud. Versez dans un plat beurré et enfournez 45 minutes th. 6 (180°C).
Warm the milk to “baby-bottle” temperature. In a mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Add two of the eggs, one at a time and whisk in. Add about 1/3 of the warm milk and continue to mix. Add the remaining egg and the vanilla extract.
Mix, and add the rest of the milk. The ideal is a thin batter with *no* lumps. Pour this over the prunes in the baking dish, and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until lightly brown and puffy. Do *not* open the oven door to peek. Its one of *those* recipes… it *will* fall! Show it off if your guests haven’t already crowded around to see, but let it rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting it into serving portions.
*Vanilla sugar is available in the bakery aisle in many grocery stores, usually in packages of 3 or 4 packets each. If you enjoy the flavor and you bake enough to make it worth your while, you can buy a vanilla pod or two to submerge in your sugar canister. It takes a while for the flavor to really soak into the sugar, and it is not as intense as store-bought vanilla sugar, but it works fine.
I think this is, by far (ok I’ll stop) one of the easiest desserts I know. You can dust it with powdered sugar, serve it with ice cream, or just enjoy it straight up. Yum and bon appetit!