The baking group Tuesdays With Dorie began on January 1, 2008, and each week it has presented members with one assigned recipe from Dorie Greenspan's book Baking: From My Home to Yours. Right now we are *this* close to finishing the book, and the group's leaders have decided that we should finish by the end of Calendar Year 2011, making the group exactly 4 years in duration. In order to meet this deadline, we have to double up on weekly recipes for most weeks this month, leaving Thanksgiving week free for us to choose a recipe we might have missed. So there's a lot of baking going on in my kitchen, and each Tuesday's post in November will have not one, but two recipes.
This week's recipes are Far Breton and Honey Nut Scones.
- Nicole of Cookies on Friday chose Far Breton, and you can find the recipe on her post.
- Far Breton is a regional dish from Brittany, containing prunes. Apparently the word "far" mean "flour" in Breton, but the batter for this cake is quite egg-centric with very little flour at all.
- I made 1/2 recipe in 6"x3" round cake pan.
- Instead of white sugar, I used granulated golden palm sugar, and duck egg rather than chicken eggs.
- The recipe calls for prunes and raisins, although Dorie gives permission for other dried fruit substitutions. I stuck with the prunes and raisins, cutting the prunes in half before soaking the fruit in very strong black tea. The recipe specifies Early Grey, but I didn't have any (I rooted through the entire tea drawer not once but twice to prove that to myself.) Another option is to infuse the fruit with Armagnac, but I've never been able to locate it in the liquor stores in my hamlet.
- The far puffed a lot as it cooked, and browned beautifully. It took a good hour to bake, even at half the size.
- When I unmolded the far, it fell considerably, like a souffle.
The far was squarely in the delightful no-man's-land between custard and cake, like a baked custard with enough flour added to edge it toward cake territory. Both my husband and I loved the finished product. It was eggy and dense and sweet and fruity. After its long soak in strong tea, the dried fruit was tender and nearly melted away into the custard. We found the far at perfect at room temperature as an after-dinner dessert, and nearly as good, chilled, for breakfast the next morning.
Part 2: Honey Nut Scones
- The scones recipe was chosen by my baking buddy Jeannette of The Whimsical Cupcake.
- I stuck closely to Dorie's recipe, with the exception of using I used pecans instead of walnuts.
- Dorie's method for forming scones produces small, individual scones. I prefer a bigger scone with more "inside" and less "outside", so here's how I baked these: After mixing the dough I patted it into a disk in a greased glass cake pan, scored the disk into 6 or 8 wedges with a bench scraper, then baked. When the scones are still hot from the oven, I cut them into separate wedges along the score lines. To me the scones don’t end up dried-out this way.
These scones were a welcome sight for Saturday morning breakfast. And for Sunday and Monday as well! I'm more used to fruit than nuts in a scone, but I really liked the crunch and that the nuts lend to this recipe. This was one of my favorite scone recipes in the book.