A blade shines in the darkest of the nights
A few days ago, Michèle, my mother-in-law found herself with a litre of fresh cow's milk still sitting in the fridge untouched. She needed to use this litre up fast as she had another 2 litre bottles of fresh one waiting for her at the nearby farm. We had the option to do the usual delicious rice pudding (riz au lait) or Caramel Custard (oeufs au lait) or Microwave Semolina Milk Pudding. In the end, we decided to try a new dessert called Far Forn or Far Aux Pruneaux - a very popular and traditional dessert from Brittany, France.
Far means Flour in Breton. Far Breton or Breton Far, a recipe originated from Brittany, is widely appreciated by the young and old in France. It exists in different varieties according to the particular localities and families, however the most famous of them all is Far Aux Pruneaux or Prunes Far. It is a flan based on eggs and milk, like a dense pudding similar to a Clafoutis. The original "Farz Fourn" (oven baked far, in Breton) recipe dates back to the 18th century, was a savoury flan made with buckwheat flour or wheat flour cooked in the oven, served with traditional French meat dishes. Over the years, the traditional Far evolves into a sweet flan and remains one of the best loved family dessert in France.
Delicious ... this recipe is just the way it's supposed to be: solid and compact like the ones you buy at the bakery, with the right balance of vanilla and dried prunes. It's pretty filling, the way this classic is meant to be. I like my Far cold.
If you find yourself out of vanilla essence, it's ok. The flan still tastes about as good and as fragrant without it.
If you aren't a fan of dried prunes nor raisins, you can try adding some other dried or fresh fruits... or just make a plain Far - still taste as delicious simple and plain.
GONG XI FA CAI
Wishing Everyone Lots of Luck and Prosperity during the Ox Year !
It seems like the year of the ox didn't start off with a big bang ... well it did for Singapore, in the sense that the government, for the first time since they banned fire crackers in 1972, lighted plenty to welcome the Ox Year. We all have the tight purse strings to thank for. For the first time in years, it actually feels really like Chinese New Year! I don't know about you, but for me, the sound of fire crackers is like dispersing the old year and welcome the new with new hopes and wishes.
Unfortunately for me, this new year kicked off with me losing my "best friend". For whatever reasons she ended our friendship, I wish her well and all the best in her endeavours and may she find peace, happiness and love. Perhaps one day if our paths ever cross, we would be able to put aside our differences and get to know each other again. I hope everyone else's year started with a better footing than me.
Today, I would like to introduce you another easy and quick to make family dessert enjoyed by young and old. It's called Oeuf Au Lait or Caramel Custard. My mother-in-law always makes this whenever she finds a bottle of milk that expires either today or tomorrow. Before coming to France, I had never heard or tasted this family dessert and since then, it is one of my favourites. For those who also don't know, this is pretty much the same as Crême brulée except there's caramel below and it's not, well, brulé (burnt) on top.
It has this nice vanilla flavor with the milk giving it a somewhat silky texture. Yummy! This recipe isn't too sweet like some other people do (which sometimes burns the mouth), and just solid enough.
For the bain-marie, always use hot water to maintain the temperature of the custard mixture in ramequin.