Custard with Prunes (Far breton)

This dense custard is a popular dessert in Brittany, France, a region that prides itself on the quality of its butter. Prunes aren’t produced locally, but their smooth texture and earthy flavor pair well with the eggy base. A successfully baked far breton will separate into a light, airy upper portion with a golden top and a dense, almost chewy bottom that’s firm enough to pick up with your fingers.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Soak in hot tea for 15 minutes:

  • 10 ounces pitted prunes (about 25)

Combine in a saucepan:

  • 4 cups milk
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Heat gently until the butter and sugar are melted, then allow to cool. Beat until frothy:

  • 6 eggs

Sift together and whisk into the eggs:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

When no lumps remain, add the milk mixture in a steady stream, whisking until smooth. Stir in:

  • 2 tablespoons apple brandy or dark rum

Grease a 9 × 13 ” baking dish and dust with flour. Pour in the batter, then drain the prunes and place them evenly around the bottom of the dish. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The custard will rise like a soufflé while it is baking, then fall back down as it cools. Wait for it to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. Makes enough for 8 to 12 people.

Convert imperial to metric here.

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