For me, the Pruneaux d'Agen are among the most beautiful culinary memories of my childhood summers. This summer in France: fresh, ripe apricots and cherries that we bought on the side of the road, depending on the season, ate with relish and whose pits we children spat out of the window of the moving car from the back seat ... pain d'épice, the typical French spiced bread , which should by no means only be eaten during the Christmas season, but also when the temperature is over 30° ... Carambars (yes, Feinkost daughters are not immune to industrial sugar and stupid jokes in candy wrappers ...) and of course the Pruneaux d'Agen : so deliciously cute, so sticky, so jet black purple, so good!
Since last week we finally have the exquisite prunes in our assortment. And I have to say that Marc Peyrey's plums are even better than I remembered: they're just a lot juicier and more aromatic. If you're not sure what to do with them, they're great to eat on their own, or you can use them to cook savory dishes like oriental tajines or duck breast with plums...
But today I want to start with a simple and quick dessert, true to the motto "first things first". There is a very classic dessert that is sold in almost every bakery in Brittany and that was once invented by Breton sailors: the Far Breton aux Pruneaux, a kind of flan with plums.
I stole the recipe below from Aurélie Bastian's blog, French Cooking, who in turn got it from a friend's Breton grandma. So if that's not a reference...!
Ingredients for 4 persons:
- 1/2 liter of milk
- 50 grams of sugar
- 100 grams of flour
- 30 grams of salty raw milk butter
- 6 eggs (available in our shop)
- 100 grams Pruneaux d'Agen (prunes)
- 3 tablespoons of rum or, as a non-alcoholic alternative, black tea (we also have rum)
- Warm water
- Heat milk, sugar and butter together until butter and sugar have melted.
- In the meantime let the plums steep with the rum (or a tea bag) and the hot water for about 5 minutes. Pat the plums dry (e.g. with kitchen roll) and roll in a little flour.
- Whisk together the eggs and flour and slowly pour in the milk mixture.
- Put the dough in a mold and spread the plums in it.
- Bake in the oven at 180°C for 40 minutes.
- Bon Appetit!
On taking my first bite of the far, while still warm, I found it very eggy (is that even a word?) and would have said leave out one of the 6 eggs given. When cooled, however, it tasted absolutely balanced and my French father decided that a Far Breton should taste just like that... So again, everything was done right :)
But two small hints at the end: firstly, I think our Pruneaux d'Agen are so aromatic and great that soaking them in rum/tea is not absolutely necessary. But that's entirely up to you, of course...
And secondly, in my opinion, the Far is enough for more than 4 people. I would schedule him like this for around 6.
And now it's your turn. Have fun imitating and enjoying!
Our wine recommendation: a red wine that does not have too strong tannins goes well with such a concentrated dessert. Or a nice port wine !
However, this week I tried it with our new Portuguese white wine "Alfaiate" and was delighted with this combination. It has a crunchy fruit and a nice salty minerality, which balance this somewhat compact flan well.
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You can find the original recipe at www.franzoesisch-kochen.de
And here is the recipe as a print-friendly pdf without pictures and a lot of text.