A classic French dessert recipe, this Far Breton with port soaked prunes is a rich custard or flan studded with dried fruit soaked in good port.
The weather here has been extraordinary since Christmas.
First, the temperatures dropped seasonably low only to climb back up a few days later, bringing along heavy rain and storms.
Which are exactly the kind of circumstances our village fears as with heavy rainfall the small stream trickling alongside the hill can quickly rise and turn into a turbulent flow.
Our house is entirely wooden and in stormy nights the sounds of creaking and cracking keep me from drifting into a deeper sleep.
Sometimes I almost enjoy this concert of nature but there are different times I wonder if we’re going to lose the roof over our head.
Though as sudden as the wailing winds appeared, as sudden they have passed again, leaving behind the last few smidgens of snow on the now brown meadows.
I remember – or at least that’s how I love to remember it – how the seasons changed periodically throughout the year when I was a child, now year after year I believe to feel them falling apart.
But instead of mulling over this fluke of nature, I decided to let this wet and ever changing weather inspire me in the kitchen.
I have been craving a good dessert lately and wanted to create something decidedly special. And where better to find this than in a French classic?
This Far Breton with port soaked prunes wakes distant memories of young summers spent on the French coast, doing nothing all day but eating decadent food and frolicking in the waves of the sea.
Not only this, it also raises the need for me to put on a Breton striped top and paint my nails red while listening to French chansons and dreaming of my beloved Paris.
The Far Breton consists of a basic buttery egg custard flavored with delicate real vanilla.
I urge you to use actual vanilla seeds from a pod as there is no greater pleasure than making a vanilla flavored dessert and finding it studded with those little black flavor infusing dots.
The custard makes up the body of this incredibly French dessert and has a silky smooth albeit dense texture to it.
This velvety bed of flan is then intersected with the most fragrant prunes oozing with port.
This combination of the sheer simplicity of the Far Breton and the soft, almost mellow texture of the soaked prunes results in such a stunning dessert – while the very same is almost unbelievably easy to create.
Far Breton – a definite jubilation to France and my childhood.
A dessert I can make over and over again, never growing tired of its taste
Don’t hesitate to try this and enjoy it with an extra glass of port while listening to the sound of Édith Piaf’s voice.
Far Breton with Port Soaked Prunes Recipe
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- 7 ounces prunes pitted
- 1/3 cup port
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- 2/3 cup flour
- Combine the prunes and the port in a small saucepan and heat gently over medium heat. Cook them while stirring occasionally until most liquid has been absorbed, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. This step can be done one or two days in advance.
- To make the custard, blend the remaining ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate overnight or at least four hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a 7x11 inch square baking dish well and sprinkle with flour, shaking off any excess.
- Evenly cover the bottom of the baking dish with the soaked prunes. Whisk the chilled custard again before pouring it over the top of the fruit. Bake until the edges are puffy and the top is evenly browned, about 45 to 50 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving with a dusting of powdered sugar.