Tuesday, November 1, 2011
The other Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was selected by me! I’m really happy that I had another opportunity to choose a recipe. The first time I picked, I knew I wanted to pick some sort of cookie, but this time I wanted to try something different. I had read through this recipe and I was intrigued: I’d never heard of Far Breton and it was a different type of cake that you make the batter in a food processor. I picked and I hope that others like it.
I had a feeling that this wouldn’t be a super-popular choice, as it is custardy and I’m not sure that people are that big of custard fans. My husband is British so custard is very popular in our household. It also contains prunes steeped in Earl Grey Tea. I love prunes but they have a bad reputation. I eat them all the time and again it was one of the elements that piqued my interest in this recipe. I don’t like floral teas like Earl Grey, but in a cake I figured it would be fine.
I made the batter in my food processor, which doesn’t do well with as much liquid as they cake had. So other than a bit of a mess on the counter, it was simple to put together. This cake is very delicate, and I could have taken even more care when I took it out of the pan. It cracked a tiny bit but I just covered it with powdered sugar. I left the prunes whole, but I think I would cut them in quarters next time as they seemed too large when I cut the cake. I liked the flavor of this cake and it’s similar in texture to bread pudding. This recipe was new and different, and I’m glad that I gave it a try.
2 cups whole milk
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pitted prunes
1/3 cup dark raisins
1 cup hot tea, such as Earl Grey, or ¼ cup Armagnac plus ¼ cup water
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Up to 1 day ahead: Put the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and melted butter in a blender or food processor and whir for 1 minute to blend. Add the flour and pulse the batter several times. Pour the batter into a pitcher, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or, preferably, overnight.
Meanwhile, for tea-soaked fruit, pit the fruit in a heatproof bowl and pour over the hot tea. When the tea cools to room temperature, cover. For Armagnac-soaked fruit, put the fruit and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the water almost evaporates, then turn off the heat and pour the Armagnac evenly over the fruit. Stand back, ignite the alcohol with a long match and wait until the flames die out before pouring the fruit and syrup into a heatproof bowl. When the fruit is cool, cover it and set aside.
Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-x-2 inch round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment or wax paper, butter the paper and dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess. Put the pan on a baking sheet.
Remove the batter from the refrigerator and whisk to reblend it, then rap the pitcher against the counter to break the top bubbles. Pour the batter into the pan and drop in the fruit, trying to distribute it fairly evenly; discard whatever soaking syrup remains.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is puffed and brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
The far is fragile (its fragility is part of what makes it so delicious) and it takes a little extra TLC to unmold it. So that the custard is not cut by the wires of the cooling rack, cover the rack with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and dust the paper with confectioners’ sugar. Have a serving plate at hand. Run a blunt knife gently between the cake and the sides of the pan and turn the cake out into the prepared rack. Don’t leave it on the tack any longer than necessary—quickly and gently invert it onto the serving plate.
Just before serving, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 202-203