- Dish type
- Cakes with fruit
- Peach cake
The Far Breton is a traditional Breton dessert, a custard-like cake with fruit. I used a yellow peach, but a white peach would be lovely as well.
7 people made this
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 4 eggs
- 140g plain flour
- 75g caster sugar
- 500ml full fat milk
- 1 peach - peeled, stoned and sliced
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:55min
- Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Butter a cake tin with the teaspoon of butter.
- Whisk together the eggs, plain flour and caster sugar in a jug until the mixture is smooth with no lumps. Whisk in the milk.Pour the mixture into the cake tin.
- Arrange the peach slices evenly over the cake mixture.
- Bake in the preheated oven until puffed, golden and a skewer inserted near the centre comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)
Reviews in English (2)
It's just classicclafoutis, but this version uses peach instead of classic cherries.-11 Aug 2017
I used a small can of peaches (drained) instead of fresh, added some vanilla essence and used a square pyrex dish - all done in a bit of a rush and it was delicious!-06 Oct 2016
A dessert from Brittany – how to make Far Breton
We weren’t at a small, artisan producer where I stuck my rubber-gloved hands into a huge wooden churn and helped to heave out a gleaming yellow mass. We weren’t at a fine French restaurant.
This was a pristine factory with immaculate steel, metal stairs, and quiet automation where we padded around cocooned in plastic coverings from head to toe. Yet it was here that I tasted a dessert that had me begging for the recipe long after returning to Dubai. Far Breton.
This whole tale starts with butter and a tour of Brittany and parts of Western France famed for its lush, green grass. This particular day started with a visit to Echiré where the eponymous butter has been made, at the same location, since 1894. It was very hands-on, as mentioned above, and we delved deep into the history and the process, watching every stage of creating the creamy, salty butter that is savoured by good food lovers and top chefs. The Japanese are wild about it too.
By the time we got to La Toile a beurre restaurant in Ancenis we were ravenous. We ate well – meaty dorade fillets with citron confit, buttery mashed potato, farmhouse chicken infused with thyme, local strawberries in a nest of rhubarb and biscuit to name a few dishes – so sated and in post lunch stupor we reached the Paysan Breton butter-making facility.
Far Breton | French Custard Cake
Ingredients US Metric
- 14 ounces prunes, pitted
- A scant 1/4 cup Armagnac, rum, or other brandy
- 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 oz), melted, for the baking dish
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 8 ounces (shelled weight) egg, roughly equivalent to 4 large eggs
- 4 ounces (3/4 to 1 cup) all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons whole milk, cold
At least a few hours and preferably the night before you intend to bake the cake, soak the prunes in the Armagnac.
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Reach for a deep-sided 8-by-10-inch (or equivalent size oval) baking dish. Brush the dish with the melted butter.
In a bowl, combine the sugar and eggs and then gradually add the flour, mixing just until combined, and then stir in the salt. Slowly and gradually whisk in the cold milk to make a thin batter.
Spoon the soaked prunes and a little of the syrupy liquid that remains into the buttered dish. Place it in the oven for just a few minutes to warm the prunes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour in the batter. Bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven to 350°F (180°C) and bake for 25 to 45 minutes more, depending on the size of your baking dish.
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, if desired, cover and refrigerate overnight before slicing and serving, preferably with a cup of tea.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Elizabeth and Lena Alvarez
This custard cake is delicate and subtle and slices like a dream. One taster loved it with good tea. Others wanted a cookie or a crust to go with it. The prune layer reminded some of us of the caramel on a flan.
We soaked the prunes overnight at room temperature. The next day there was very little liquid left and the liquid had turned syrupy—the fragrance was divine and we added the prunes and a little syrup to the pan over the melted butter.
We followed the gram measurements exactly with one exception: we used 750 ml plus 3 T of milk. The batter comes together quickly and easily.
Be sure to use a deep dish. We used an extra deep 9-inch pie pan, thinking it would be deep enough, but it was not! We quickly buttered 3 ramekins and filled each 2/3 with the extra batter. Next time, we'll use a cheesecake pan with the bottom outside reenforced with foil.
It's even better if you can allow 24 hours for it to chill
The texture was very smooth and flan-like with moist, Cognac-infused prunes.
I used my 8-by-10-inch Emile Henry oval baking dish for this test, however, after filling my dish to the brim with the batter, I still ended up with 1 cup leftover batter in my bowl. The photo looks like it was made in a springform pan, which would be deep enough to accommodate this amount of batter. Alternatively, a 9-by-13-inch baking dish would also be an appropriate option.
I soaked the prunes for 5 hours in Cognac (they definitely soaked up the liquid, and I guess heating them up a bit further infused them with the flavor of their soaking liquid. My batter was very thin, like the consistency of an egg and milk mixture used for French toast. I didn’t need to add additional milk to the batter.
It took 50 minutes baking at the lower temp before my knife came out clean. I let it cool completely in the pan and the slices released cleanly and easily from the dish.
Generally, prunes are not my first go-to ingredient for a dessert, so my friends and I were pleasantly surprised to find that we enjoyed this dessert. The custard was a wonderful thick consistency that held its own against the somewhat chewy texture of the prunes. The edges of the custard formed a bit of a crust that provided a combination of three delightful textures: the smooth custard, the chewy prunes, and the drier edge.
Much of the conversation about the dessert revolved around other fruits we thought would work well. Candidates were raspberries, black raspberries, kiwi, blueberries and apricots, any of which we thought might be delicious. If I were to make it again, I might cut back the prunes to 9 ounces from the 14 ounces specified. This would allow the custard to shine through a bit more.
The ratio of the egg, sugar, and flour to the milk made a perfect thin consistency. I needed to cook the custard cake for 45 minutes to have my wet knife come out clean in the middle of the cake. When I took the cake out of the oven to cool, I immediately ran my knife around the edge of the baking dish to loosen it.
HUNGRY FOR MORE?
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
I know I not supposed to comment without making the recipes, but I cannot comply with this one! OMG! This is the perfect dessert in the middle of a snowstorm on a dark Alaskan night! With the Northern Lights swirling around us…we will be eating this in deep bowls while sipping the same brandy. Thanks for this.
Andi! You can absolutely comment on a recipe you haven’t made. We just ask you refrain from rating it until after you’ve dined! I wish you a delicious Alaskan winter!
We really like the Far Breton, it has become a regular. Friends have also adopted it. Very easy to make, always successful. I use the metric measurements:-
130g caster sugar
110g plain flour
A pinch of salt
750g cold full-fat milk
50g melted butter
21x26cm 8”x10” dish.
Key to any good dessert is balance of ingredients. Using too much of any component can make any dessert unpleasant to eat. Unless of course if you particularly love a certain component. Take for example this individual Mango tart. The ratio of this light and delicate Breton Shortbread is rather high to the ratio of the Mango cremeux. Some will feel that the balance is lovely while others may prefer more cremeux. Neither is particularly wrong, it is a matter of personal preference. What we certainly all can agree on is that an overly thick and hard tart crust is always unpleasant.
What is nice about this dessert is that it is rather quick to make. The Breton shortbread is pressed or piped into silforms and baked. Once baked and cooled they can be filled with a variety of fillings.
The Breton Shortbread is best baked the day of serving. Certainly the filled silforms can be frozen and defrosted later for bake off. The mango cremeux can be made a day in advance and right before using being mixed using an immersion blender or high speed blender for optimum smoothness.
Combine the peaches with the minced lemon thyme, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes or until peaches are very soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Cut six 14-inch-by-7-inch strips of cooking parchment. Fold the strips in half lengthwise and wrap them around six 6-ounce souffle dishes to come up about 3/4 inch above the top of each dish. Fold the ends of each strip together, and pinch to close firmly. Set aside.
When the peach mixture is cool, push it through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Discard the solids remaining in the sieve. Set the peach puree aside.
Combine the egg yolks, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup of sugar in the top half of a double boiler over simmering water. (Keep the pan clear of the water.) Cook, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer inserted into the yolk mixture reads 170 degrees. Immediately whisk in the yogurt, and remove the top half of the double boiler from the heat. Quickly scrape the mixture into the large bowl of a mixer and beat, using the whisk attachment, until it's light yellow, very thick, and cool to the touch. Set aside.
Combine the heavy cream with the remaining sugar, and beat with a mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold the cooled egg mixture into the whipped cream. When well blended, fold in the cooled peach puree.
Spoon the souffle mixture into the prepared dishes, allowing the mixture to come to the top of the parchment. Using a spatula, smooth the tops and cover with plastic film. Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours or until solid.
When ready to serve, carefully remove and discard the parchment wraps. Quickly dip souffles in hot water and unmold. Allow them to sit until slightly softened.
Place a souffle in the center of each of six well-chilled dessert plates, and tuck a lemon-thyme sprig into each. Drizzle the lemon thyme-citrus syrup around the edge of each plate and serve.
Lemon Thyme-Citrus Syrup:
Combine the wine, lemon and orange juices, sugar, lemon thyme, mint, and orange zest in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by one half and is syrupy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean container. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Prunes. in the US we don't even call them prunes anymore because of the irrational bias Americans seem to have against this super fruit that has an association with better body-plumbing functioning, body-plumbing which by nature shares digestive and out-of-norm sexual functions, and in puritanical America, this association is bad on both counts. In the new century the headliner on the package is "dried plums", as if we didn't know any better, and underneath in smaller letters with low contrast in color compared to the background is the dreaded translation: prunes. dr bob loves prunes but even he doesn't pick them up in the supermarket and he doesn't know why. Every once in a while a buy is made, but then remains in the fridge forever due to absentmindedness, a fairly obvious dr bob character flaw, noted often by ms_ani. In Europe or even Korea or almost any other country, you can even find one of dr bob's favorite yogurt flavors: prune! Really, in yogurt it is totally yummy. And has beneficial digestive system effects occasionally needed when traveling. The European Dannon company even makes "bio-active" prune yogurt for super results, although we are not exactly sure what those results are. Here in the third millennium US yogurt market, each company is splitting its yogurt line into 5 or 6 different versions: regular, low fat, nonfat are the traditional ones, sometimes custard or creamy, but now also whipped, carb or heart friendly, full fat super creamy, plus yogurt drinks that never used to compete with the solid yogurt shelf space which is still the same size set by second millennium standards. Drastically insufficient. So the flavor range in each separate yogurt line is pitiful. But this is a bit of a digression.
This is a rustic French prune custard cake typical of the Brittany region of France, which struck ms_ani's fancy in a recent Bon Appetit article on how all French women seem to be able to cook and bake standard simple but surprisingly rewarding dishes with a minimum of effort. While not blowing up to blimp size as a result of course. Too bad so little French cinema makes it to America so we can see these ladies in action more often. Although the kitchen is not the first room you think of when musing about French cinema.
Even though the effort level for this cake is low, it is a two stage recipe since for some reason the batter is supposed to chill 3 hours minimum before combining with the prune mixture and baking and hour, so you have to allow for this. Reading the recipe thoroughly before starting is a good idea, one which often does not find its way into practice in the dr bob kitchen. But which never seems to be a fatal error. In our first attempt, bob got out the food processor instead of the blender (absentmindedness, since the blender is not only out of sight, but out of the kitchen). When the batter started overflowing through the center blade tube, this distinction led to a quick remedial action, requiring a little extra added milk to replace the lost fluid after transferring to the super blender. The pulsing of the flour into the batter was a casualty of this mistake. Could it really make a difference? [The author says yes, too vigorous incorporation encourages gluten formation, which in turn toughens the finished cake. We'll see.]
As for the pan choice, bob thought a springform pan would be easier for cake removal, while ani voted for a glass baking dish. bob insisted. ani countered with the suggestion to wrap the bottom with aluminum foil to prevent leekage. bob said "nahh. " A little bit of batter began seeping out under the edge on the cookie sheet but bob guessed it would not amount to much before the heat stemmed the flow. However, by having inverted the bottom of the pan so the rim was underneath to enable easy access to the edge of the cooked cake for removal above, standard cheesecake practice by now, the side of the springform pan created an nice well underneath that filled completely (1/4 inch deep) and baked rock solid onto the ungreased cookie sheet out of sight of the controlling chef eyes. Apparently cheesecake batter is sufficiently thicker than this batter to not present such amusing byproducts. Which soaked a day before we had the courage to try to scrub it off. Maybe we should have used the glass dish, or at the very minimum tightly wrapped the bottom and edge with foil and consider spraying the cookie sheet with cooking spray just in case. This is the danger of overconfidence matched against too much willingness to accept it.
Success, confirmed by a French expatriate lady from Paris who had once been to Brittany and tasted a local rendition of the dish. We'll be making this again and again. Of course Geraldine actually knows where Brittany is on the upper coast of France, whereas the cooking team has to Google it to have a clue. Americans are notorious for poor geography skills. Even enlightened ones like us, to some extent.
Classic French Cherry Clafoutis
“Clafoutis” (pronounced kla-foo-tee) is one of those funny French words that makes a dish sound so fancy, while it’s actually so simple to make. Some fresh seasonal cherries and a few basic baking ingredients (flour, sugar, eggs and milk) is all you need to create this utterly delicious dessert in your own kitchen. So if you’ve never tried to make a Cherry Clafoutis at home before, stay with me – you’ll be amazed how easy it is to prepare it!
Gâteau Breton. A fabulous Butter Cake from France.
Slice of Gâteau Breton, the classic French butter cake from Brittany.
I went wild over this cake when I tasted it for the first time at Bell’s, a French bistro in Los Alamos, California. Its butteriness and shortbread-like texture are what made me an instant fan. How can a cake with only four ingredients be so good? It’s the quality of the butter you use. Common supermarket brands are 80% butterfat, the lowest allowed by the USDA. But if you seek out brands such as Kerrygold, Plugra, Strauss, or Horizon, their butterfats range from 82% to 85%. Remember, fat carries flavor!
This cake is amazingly easy to make by hand, with an electric mixer, or in a food processor. Egg yolks hold the batter together. An egg yolk glaze, raked with the tines of a fork, give the cake a decoration and a beautiful burnished look.
This butter cake from Brittany is easy to make with a food processor, an electric mixer, or completely by hand. I’ve written complete directions for all three methods. If using unsalted butter instead of salted, add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the dry ingredients. You’ll need an 8 x 2-inch round metal pan. If you have an 8-inch layer cake pan it will work perfectly. The vanilla in the recipe is my addition.
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned into a 1-cup dry measure to overflowing and leveled with a straight edge 9 ounces by weight)
8 ounces (2 sticks) salted or unsalted butter, refrigerator temp or slightly softened, depending on method
1 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
1. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the cake pan and line the bottom with a round of cooking parchment or waxed paper. No need to butter the paper.
2. To make the dough in a food processor, put the flour and sugar into the work bowl. Process 5 seconds to combine. Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes and add to the work bowl. Pulse about 5 times for 1 second each to cut the butter into small pieces no larger than 1/4-inch or so. Add 5 egg yolks and the vanilla and pulse rapidly 10 to 15 times (more or less) until a stiff dough comes together. Remove the dough from the machine and work it briefly between your hands to form a thick disk. If the dough sticks at all, flour your hands very lightly. Put the dough into the prepared pan and set a piece of plastic wrap over it. Press on the plastic to spread the dough into the pan. It should be evenly thick and reach right to the pan edge. Refrigerate about 20 minutes.
3. If using an electric mixer, cut the slightly softened butter into tablespoon-size pieces and put them into a medium bowl with the sugar. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed until well mixed but not fluffy. Add 5 egg yolks and the vanilla and beat on medium speed about 1 minute, until completely incorporated. With a wooden spoon, gradually stir in the flour to make a stiff dough. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and set a piece of plastic wrap over it. Press on the plastic to spread the dough into the pan. It should be evenly thick and reach right to the pan edge. Refrigerate about 20 minutes.
4.To make Gâteau Breton by hand, put the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir to mix. Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes and add to the bowl. Chop the butter into the flour and sugar with a pastry blender or two knives until the texture is like coarse crumbs. Add 5 egg yolks and the vanilla and mix in with a wooden spoon to form a thick dough. Put the dough into the prepared pan and set a piece of plastic wrap over it. Press on the plastic to spread the dough into the pan. It should be evenly thick and reach right to the pan edge. Refrigerate about 20 minutes.
5. To bake the Gâteau Breton, mix the last yolk and 1 teaspoon water in a small cup well with a fork. Remove the plastic wrap from the chilled cake and use a pastry brush to coat the top of the cake with the egg yolk. You may not have to use all the yolk. Try not to let any yolk run between the cake and the side of the pan. With a table fork, score the top of the Gâteau Breton in criss-crossing parallel lines.
6. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake is a rich golden brown color. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the sides of the Gâteau to release, and unmold it onto the rack. Peel off the paper, cover with another rack, and invert to cool right side up. Wait a few hours before serving for the cake’s texture to compose itself.
Makes one 8-inch round cake, about 10 servings.
Plums for Your Plum Tart
When I first came to France and heard people speak of prunes I assumed they were talking about dried plums. I soon found out that the French word for plum is prune and the word for prune is pruneaux .
There are several different varieties of plums grown in France. They appear on the market in the summer and early fall. Some of the more popular types are:
- Reine Claude - round, green, firm and sweet
- Mirabelle - small, yellow to orange, with a yellow-orange flesh
- Quetsche - large, oval, dark purple skin with a yellow flesh
- Americano-Japonaise - can be quite large, a recent addition to French markets
To make this plum tart recipe, I used what I found at the grocery store in May, which unfortunately meant plums from Chile. I prefer buying in season fruit but the tart didn't care - it still looked and tasted wonderful!
Make Nova Scotia Oatcakes Gluten-Free, Vegan, Or Both
I made three different combinations of gluten-free and vegan oatcakes while testing this recipe. I used Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice Flour and Vegan Becel (not sponsored) to make them as that’s what I had on hand.
Please note if you are making oatcakes with rice flour you will probably not be able to roll them with a rolling pin. Instead, pat the dough into shape with your hands.
- To Make Gluten Free Oatcakes – Substitute 1 cup (160g) of brown rice flour for the all-purpose flour and use certified gluten-free oats. You will probably not be able to roll the dough. Instead, pat it into shape with your hands.
- To Make Gluten-Free Vegan Oatcakes – Substitute 1 cup (160g) of brown rice flour for the all-purpose flour and use certified gluten-free oats. Use the same amount of vegan butter as butter called for in the recipe. You will probably not be able to roll the dough. Instead, pat it into shape with your hands.
- To Make Vegan Oatcakes – Substitute the same amount of vegan butter as butter called for in the recipe.