Tuesdays with Dorie group is really, really getting close to the end of The Book, so we're doubling up on recipes in November and December so we can be finished (sniff, sniff) by the end of 2011. Today Nicole from Cookies on Friday chose Far Breton, and Jeannette of The Whimsical Cupcake chose Honey-Nut Scones. (Recipes are available on their blogs.)
I've been curious about Far Breton since I first leafed through Baking: From My Home to Yours. Dorie learned the recipe from her au pair, who hailed from Brittany. I've been in love with traditional Breton buckwheat crepes (known as krampouezh) since I first tried them at one of my favorite San Francisco restaurants, Ti Couz. (By the way, I just found out that Ti Couz is now closed, and a little part of me died inside.) Far is the Breton name for a custardy cake with fruit, somewhat similar to the clafoutis.
While the far batter did not involve buckwheat flour, the preparation reminded me of crepe batter - whirl everything in a blender, then let it sit. I could only let the batter rest for the minimum three hours, and it seemed to do the trick. I plumped some prunes and golden raisins in Earl Grey tea. Batter and fruit combine in a cake pan, then into the oven for an hour or so. What emerged from the oven resembled a puffy golden pancake. It quickly deflated, but with some cooling time and a little powdered sugar, it regained its rustic charm.
As someone who does not particularly care for Earl Grey tea (something about the bergamot), I was worried about how I'd like the flavors of the cake and fruit together, but I absolutely loved them. Let's face it, the far is not much to look at, but I can see why it remained in Dorie's repertoire for so long. And it's awesome for breakfast, too.
So, on to the scones. Do you, like me, refuse to open a new container of something until the last drops of the old container are gone? I had some pleasant but boring clover honey waiting to be used up, as well as some darker, more flavorful honey squirreled away in the back of the pantry. When I went to make the scones, I knew I could bust out the dark honey if I really wanted to, but I am too stubborn. I didn't want boring scones. I wanted good scones.
I did have some maple syrup and maple flavor bites, and what with the six inches of snow on the ground outside in October, it felt like a maple syrup kind of day. So I turned these into maple-maple crunch scones, and they turned out beautifully. In fact, I feel this recipe really should be thought of as a base recipe - the whole wheat/white wheat scone dough would be a great foil for any number of additions.(I didn't snap a picture, but trust me - they were good!)
Whew! On to our next week of recipes: Valerie of Une Gamine dans la Cuisine chose Fall Butternut Squash Pie AND Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook chose Mini Madeleines
Last week: Ginger-Touched Brownies