Far Breton is a specialty of Brittany. (Far is derived from the Latin farina, meaning “flour.”) When I was growing up, my mother would make up a batch every couple of weeks as a snack to have after school. However, far breton was originally eaten by agricultural workers who took it into the fields for their lunch.—Richard Bertinet
14 ounces prunes, pitted
1/2 cup rum
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for greasing
2/3 cup sugar
8 ounces (shelled weight) egg, roughly equivalent to 4 large eggs
4 ounces (3/4 to 1 cup) flour
A pinch of salt
3 3/4 cups cold whole milk
1. Soak the prunes in the rum for at least a few hours, or overnight if possible. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease a deep 8-by-10-inch (or equivalent oval) earthenware dish. Brush your dish with the melted butter.
2. Mix the sugar and eggs together and add the flour gradually, then the salt. Whisk in the cold milk gradually to make a thin batter.
3. Spoon the soaked prunes into your buttered dish, and then put it into the oven for a few minutes just to warm up the prunes. Remove from the oven and pour in the batter.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, and then turn down the heat to 350°F (180°C) and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes.
5. To check that the far breton is ready, dip the blade of a sharp knife into cold water and use it to pierce the middle—if the knife comes out clean, it is ready. The sides of the far breton will also be starting to come away from the dish. Cool completely in the dish, and then slice into pieces or use a round cutter. Serve with a cup of tea.
Recipe © 2007 by Richard Bertinet. All rights reserved.