Recipe for the far breton for 4-6 pers.
- 4 eggs
- 200 g flour
- 200 g sugar
- about ĺ of a liter of milk
- 250 g of dry prunes
- vanilla sugar
First important concept: despite being really simple, you have to claim that this recipe is terribly difficult and that you got it from your grand-mother who lived in Brittany and that itís been a family secret for twenty generations. This is a matter of pride for my region. Since the far is one of our regional dishes, we can't let everyone know how easy it is to prepare... I hope you understand. By the way, if your grand-mother never lived in Brittany, wellÖ at least, donít tell you got the recipe from me because, you know, I got it from my grand-mother and itís been a family secret for twenty generations.
Even before starting, you have to face a terrible choice about the dry prunes. If you donít want them to be too dry, you may leave the prunes a whole night in a recipient filled with tea. This will add a nice flavor and you can also add some rhum so that the flesh of the prune will keep this taste. Remove the prunes from the water of the tea and let them get read of the excess of water. You can also remove the seeds from the prunes; your guests will probably appreciate. By the way, just to confuse you, when the pictures where taken, I used dry apricots for a change (works the same and tastes good but that's much less traditional).
Now, the first real step of this preparation is to mix together the eggs with the sugar and the flour in a large pot. As you can see below, I first put the flour, add the eggs and, after mixing, I add the sugar. Here, I used brown sugar so that the dish is not too sweet for the taste of one of my flat-mate. If you don't have to account for this kind of considerations, just use whatever you prefer. If you like vanilla, you can also add a touch of vanilla sugar (which, again is not part of the traditional recipe at all but tastes good).
Then slowly add the milk and mix everything together until you end up with something fluid and homogeneous. You can slightly warm up the milk before you add it but take care not to warm it too much because it would then cook the eggs when you add it and your far would turn into a flan (which is still very good to eat though). If you like, you can add a spoon of rhum (this time itís part of the traditional recipe). Actually I also tried that time to add some maple syrup and it taste really cool, call this the "french-canadian version of the far breton".
Fill an oven dish with you preparation after having buttered to bottom of the dish so that the dough doesn't stick to it in the oven. By the way, let me thank Christelle for all this pictures she took.
Here is the geeky part of the recipe: try to ensure the buoyancy of your dry fruits so that they don't sink at the bottom of the dish. This can be done by simply putting a bit of flour on the skin of your dry prunes (or apricots) and you'll get a wonderful sedimentation gradient. If you want, you can set up experiments to estimate to viscosity of your fluid (the dough) and calculate the forces applied to your particles (the fruits)... or can simply trust me on this.
Switch you oven on around 200 degrees C (th. 6-7). Wait until the oven is hot (ok, I admit I could have told you this at the beginning) and put you dish into the oven. After 30 minutes or so, your desert should look a bit brownish, and itís time for you to switch off the oven. Leave it close for about 30 more minutes and your ďfar BretonĒ is ready. Itís better to wait for a couple of hours before eating it and it can be kept several days in the fridge. It is traditionally eaten cold and I hope you'll enjoy it. Have fun with this recipe and feel free to leave a comment.