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Chef Daniel Boulud's
Far Breton with Orange Salad



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or eating of them, but in the sight and enjoyment of them."

~ Henry David Thoreau

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Plum, Halved, with Drops of Water
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Basket of Plums
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La Belle Cuisine


Far Breton

Daniel Boulud's
Cafe Boulud Cookbook:
French-American Recipes
for the Home Cook

by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan, 1999, Scribner

“The far is Brittany’s answer to the Limoges region’s clafoutis, a fairly firm
custard baked like a cake and studded with fruit - here, Armagnac-soaked
prunes, the most traditional filling. (Of course, you can be nontraditional –
far made with dried cherries is also excellent.) While many French home
cooks will tackle elaborate savory dishes but then head for the local pâtisserie
to purchase dessert, the
far, with its quickly and easily mixed crępe-like batter,
is a sweet that’s often made at home – and always with perfect results.”

Makes 8 servings

the prunes:

2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup (6 ounces) pitted prunes or 1 cup
(about 5 ounces) dried cherries
2 tablespoons Armagnac

Bring 1 cup of water and the sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Put the
prunes or cherries in a heatproof bowl, pour over the Armagnac, and add
the hot sugar syrup. Stir gently just to combine, then set the bowl aside
until the liquid reaches room temperature. (The prunes can be used now
or covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

the far:

3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon
all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, at
room temperature
5 tablespoons unsalted butter,
melted and cooled

1. Working with a whisk (or a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment
and set to medium-low), beat the eggs, sugar, and salt together in a
medium bowl. Gently but thoroughly whisk in the flour, followed by
the milk and then the melted butter. Cover the batter with plastic
wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or, preferably, overnight.
2. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Butter the inside of an 8- by 2-inch round cake pan. Fit the bottom
with a circle of parchment paper, butter the paper, and then dust the
bottom and sides of the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
3. Drain the prunes or cherries well and keep them close at hand.
Remove the batter from the refrigerator and stir it gently just to
bring it together again. Pour the batter into the pan and scatter over
the fruit. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn
the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for another 30 to 40
minutes, or until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the
center of the far comes out clean. Transfer the far to a rack and
let it cool to room temperature in its pan.

to serve: Run a blunt knife around the sides of the far, turn the far upside
down into a parchment-lined plate (a rack might cut into the delicate
custard), remove the pan and the parchment paper, and then invert the
far onto a decorative serving platter. The far is best eaten the day it is
made, but it would be foolish to toss away leftovers – cover them well
with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for up to 1 day.

to drink:  a young, still-fruity Maury


Orange Salad

“In this salad, orange finds its soul mates: fresh rosemary and vanilla. Except
for a couple of spoonfuls of sugar to round out the flavors and turn the orange
juice into a light syrup, that’s it – nothing more, and nothing more needed.
The salad is cool, fresh, surprising, and ideal for any occasion – including
…lovely spooned over a slice of lightly toasted pound cake or with the
Far Breton…”

Makes 4 servings

8 navel oranges
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 plump, moist vanilla bean
2 tablespoons sugar

1. With a knife, cut away the skin or the oranges, removing every trace
of white cottony pith and exposing the poise, glistening fruit. Working
over a bowl, cut between the membranes, releasing orange segments
and allowing them and their juices to drop into the bowl. If you’d like,
you can cut the orange segments into smaller pieces. As you finish
each orange, squeeze the remaining juice from the membranes into
the bowl before discarding the membranes. Add the rosemary.
2. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise in half, and. Using the back of the
knife, scrape the pulp out of the pod. Add the vanilla bean pod
and pulp along with the sugar to the bowl and stir gently. Cover
the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 12 hours before serving.

to serve:  Discard the rosemary and vanilla bean and spoon the
oranges and some of their syrup into small bowls.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Clafoutis aux Cerises Mulot
Plums Poached in Vanilla,
Cinnamon and Anise

Prunes in Red Wine and Cinnamon

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