Ludo Lefebvre and Son Show You Their Take on a Classic French Dessert
Far Breton is a Lefebvre favorite (for Ludo at least).
On the latest Ludo à la Maison, chefs Ludo and Luca Lefebvre make far breton—a dish that, while from a French region beginning with a "b" and ending in "y" is, for a change of pace, not Ludo's home of Burgundy, but the Northwestern region of Brittany. The custard-based French dessert has many variations, but the version the Lefebvres demonstrate is a personal pie-sized treat filled with prunes, a.k.a. dried plums, which, thanks to the French language, leads Ludo to mix up the words more than a few times.
First, the chefs take the prunes and rehydrate them with cognac, by cooking them together until the alcohol evaporates. Meanwhile, to make the custard, which Lefebvre says reminds him of the flavor of a crepe, while simultaneously being almost like a pudding, they put two whole eggs in a bowl, then separate the yolks and whites. Before continuing the custard, he brings the prunes to a boil, and flambés, impressing the up-to-then distracted Luca with the huge fire (though it does scare his sister a bit).
Going back to the mixture, they add a cup of butter, a half cup of sugar, two egg yolks, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, a quarter cup melted butter, two thirds cup of flour, two cups of milk, and a pinch of salt, then mix the whole thing, which they leave in the fridge for about four hours.
With the liquid in the prunes almost evaporated, they take their molds, add lots of butter and some flour, and place six prunes in each. They then pour the batter in, and bake in the oven at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes (though the older Lefebvre says a larger far breton could take 40 to 50). Luca heads off, not very into this dish, while his father demonstrates that when it browns (while staying a bit soft at the center) you know it's almost ready. His son returns to try it, but is still not a fan, though Ludo himself loves it, and chalks the discrepancy up to the unpredictable whims of the young.