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Far Breton (Flan with dried plums)

Serves 12

A far is a custardy cake, thicker and denser than a typical flan or custard. This signature pastry of Brittany is studded with prunes and flavored with brandy.

Butter (for the dish)
4 cups whole milk
1 3/4 cups flour
1 scant cup sugar
4 eggs
3 tablespoons brandy, cognac, or Armagnac
8 ounces large moist pitted prunes (about 1 1/2 cups)

1. Set the oven at 425 degrees. Butter a large rectangular or oval dish, about 12 by 8 inches, with at least 2-inch-high sides.

2. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and heat it to just boiling. Remove from the heat.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour and sugar to combine them. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Slowly and carefully whisk in the hot milk. The batter will be thin. With a large spoon, stir in the brandy and prunes.

4. Pour the custard into the prepared dish, making sure the prunes are evenly distributed.

5. Bake the mixture for 30 minutes or until the flan is golden, puffed, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Adapted from Catherine Masson

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