Recipes Gone Wild: Sour Cherry Far Breton

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg

Following Jen’s lead on Monday, I’ve got more love here for The Bounty, plus a recipe! On my last visit there, surveying the menu my eyes immediately closed in on the dessert section. Sour Cherry Far Breton? Could my eyes be deceiving me? I can’t recall ever seeing a Far Breton on a menu in Brooklyn, but it is this dessert about which I dream. I had hit the jackpot.

It was in Paris 6 years ago that I first tried a Far, a cream-hued brick of baked custard and brandy-soaked prunes, much like a clafouti or flan. The baker wrapped my chosen pastry in some paper, I paid, and wandered around, enjoying my delicious acquisition as I navigated rows of roses and perfectly-manicured topiaries at a nearby garden.

The Far Breton is a veritable foam mattress of a dessert— a far cry from French pastry of the more pillowy variety (e.g. the croissant, with it’s enviable résistance of gravity considering the loads of butter from which it’s comprised). And the density makes sense. Let’s say you’re a sailor (or a seagull) in Brittany—this stick-to-your-ribs dessert was designed to keep you warm inside, and with your feet firmly planted on those windy coastal bluffs.

I based this recipe off of one that I found on Le Tartine Gourmand’s website, but used sour cherries instead of prunes, à la Greenpoint’s The Bounty.

Sour Cherry Far Breton

Ingredients:
Butter (for the dish)
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 Tbsp. dark rum
2 cups whole milk
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
¾ cup cup dried tart cherries
¼ cup boiling water
Pinch of sea salt
Confectioner’s suger, for garnish

Directions:
1. Set the oven at 350°F. Generously butter a 10-inch round baking dish (2-quart capacity).
2. Cover the tart cherries with boiling water, plus 1 tablespoon of rum. Soak for an hour and then drain off the liquid. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Stir well to blend them. Make a well in the center. and add the eggs. Whisk until the batter reaches a smooth consistency.
4. Stir in the remaining rum, milk, and melted butter.
5. Arrange the cherries in the bottom of the baking dish, and pour the batter on top.
6. Bake the dish for 35 minutes or until the top is golden and the flan is set. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.

About Libby V

Libby VanderPloeg lives and makes work in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She grew up in Michigan on the edge of the Great Lakes dunes, and has lived in Chicago, New York, and Stockholm. Her work comes out of her deep affinity for storytelling, music, letterforms, printed ephemera, and wildlife. None of these works could have been made without the world's finest brioche and several good, strong cups of coffee.

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