Spring is in full bloom in Paris, flooding the streets with beautiful pink blossoms and markets with bright fresh produce. I´ve changed my boots for a new pair of ballerinas and do not want to look back until October. It´s funny how little is actually necessary to brighten one´s day and surroundings. Just bring out the sunshine and the nature will do the rest. Luscious flowers parading in shops and market stands, accompanied by vibrant fruits and vegetables, weekend picnics in the park, lazy afternoons spent on the cafe terrace. All courtesy of longer and warmer days. Springtime always gives me that nudge to get more organized, to get my ducks in order, so to speak. Motivation and energy levels are soaking up the sunlight and suddenly everything seams possible, achievable, doable. The gray haze of Parisian winter has finally been lifted and it´s time to embrace the new and brighter day.
The next coming months will have a packed schedule trying to make the most of each day but there will also be some little treats to balance it all out. One of these will be our trip to Rennes to visit my sister-in-law. Bretagne is one of my favourite regions in France with gorgeous coastline and possibly the best cuisine in France. Growing up by the seaside it´s something I miss terribly living in Paris. So any chance to visit the coast makes me very happy. I do plan on writing a post about our trip there, so I won´t get too much into the marvel that is the Brittain food. Instead, as a little pre-thought, an appetizer, of sorts, I´m sharing one of my favourite dishes from that region, Far Breton.
The typical Far Breton is known as the French custard tart. The most common version is with prunes but fillings vary from one region to another. It´s very dense and rustic, truly home cooking at its best. The ingredients needed are very basic and there is hardly any effort in making it. It´s one of those desserts that is perfect for breakfast as well as to be served after dinner, a trustworthy choise either way. The one I´m writing about today I made with strawberries as they are everywhere at the moment, lush and flavoursome. I love the classical Far Breton with prunes and it´s wonderful at any time of the year but I felt like giving it a seasonal touch. As the base of the batter is eggy milk mixture, I added vanilla ja maple syrup which go perfectly with strawberries. Now, the butter has to be salted, it´s one of those French culinary tricks that really makes a difference. And one of Bretagne´s specialties is butter, so do it justice.
75 ml milk
1 tbsp salted butter
pinch of salt
75 ml maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven at 200 degrees. Whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt. In another bowl (slightly bigger to combine everything later) mix milk, sugar, vanilla and maple syrup and warm up over hot water (do not boil!). Once the milk mixture is warm add the eggs. Gently add the flour while whisking everything together. Place half of the halved strawberries in the bottom of a previsously buttered baking tin and pour 1/3 of the liquid batter on top. Place the tin in the oven for about 15 minutes. Add the rest of the strawberries and gently pour over the rest of the batter. Cook for another 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180 degrees. If the batter is still liquid on top let it cook for another 5 minutes, if the surface is set brush everything over with butter and put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Let it cool completely before serving.