Clafoutis or Far Breton is one of my favorite French treats so I thought I’d share the recipe my mom taught me to celebrate Bastille Day! July 14th marks the day the Bastille Prison was stormed in 1789 and a major point in the French Revolution. The subsequent unity of the nation was then celebrated one year later. Change doesn’t happen sitting still and being told to eat cake, right?
In 1989, my parents took my to Paris for the bicentennial celebrations. We stayed in a friend’s apartment by the Bois de Boulogne. We took the Metro, as usual, to near the Eiffel Tower that afternoon. After the fireworks, we walked toward the apartment with crowds overflowing from Metro stations. At some point, we stopped for a very late dinner then kept walking back. It was a long walk with the jubilation, noises, and scents of Paris enveloping us. It is a trip and day I will never forget. It is a gift and privilege to bear witness to another culture and we were welcomed with open arms and kisses on both cheeks. Paris is a favourite place, but most of our summer time in France was spent in Bretagne and France. The Far Breton is a traditional Breton treat and my mother learned to make it here with our friends. Needless to say, our French vocabulary is much stronger when we’re talking food.
Easy to prepare, delicious to enjoy, and good for breakfast, snack, or dessert. Like most French dishes, it is best created using full-fat ingredients and will not be the same if you opt for margarine and skim milk. It is delicious and dessert comfort food that doubles as breakfast food so what’s not to love. Refrigerate any uneaten portions, this isn’t a food that should be stored at room temperature.
3 Large eggs
½ Cup sugar
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Cup whole milk
1 Cup whole cream (seriously, don’t use low fat dairy in this recipe)
1 cup pitted cherries (you can also use pitted dried prunes, dried apricots, or raisins soaked in brandy)
1 ounce (1/4 stick) salted butter
1. Preheat oven to 400°F
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Add the sugar and blend well. Add the flour and mix until smooth.
3. Add the milk little-by-little, mixing all the while to blend. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt (if desired) and stir. If using the fruit, stir it into the batter, distributing evenly over the bottom.
4. Coat an oval or rectangular baking dish (ceramic or glass) measuring about 12”x7”x1.5” with a thick film of butter. Pour the batter into the baking dish and distribute it evenly over the bottom.
5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the pudding is deeply browned. Serve slightly warm. It is lovely fresh from the oven.
It will separate a bit when it is chilled and then it isn’t as pretty (example below).