Prune & Custard Tartlets

5 March 2014

Post image for Prune & Custard Tartlets

A big, big thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway to win a copy of Rachel Khoo’s latest cookbook, My Little French Kitchen. The response was fantastic and I loved reading everyone’s entries on their favourite French food. The entries made me realise how far-reaching and popular French food really is; from the simple baguette loaf and famous croissant to the more exotic Duck à l’Orange, the entries highlighted how wonderful and delicious French food is, and how difficult it is to name just one favourite! The lucky winner will be notified by email shortly.

But my adventures in cooking from My Little French Kitchen are far from over and, this week, Rachel Khoo’s spin on the classic Far Breton has made my afternoon tea breaks that little bit more indulgent.

A Far Breton was what my mother-in-law served when I travelled to Brittany to meet the future in-laws for the first time. It was a rather nerve-wracking trip for me, not least because, if things went pear-shaped, I was going to be stranded on the furthest north-western corner of France where any chance of escape would have required a 5 hour train ride to the next major city. Thankfully, my first encounter with my in-laws was a charmed event and, if the only thing I can remember from that first meeting was what we ate, I’m guessing it couldn’t have been too bad.

A Far Breton is a dense flan with prunes and is very traditional to the region of Brittany. Given my familial connection to this cake, one of the first recipes to catch my eye in Rachel Khoo’s latest cookbook were her Tartlettes Far Breton. A traditional Far Breton is usually made in a large dish and which is then sliced upon serving. Here, Rachel Khoo has given this classic dessert her unique spin by recreating them as little custard tarts.

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What I love about Rachel Khoo’s version is that it combines the Far Breton with one of my favourite afternoon tea treats, the Palmier, a pastry with various names translated into English, including Elephant’s Ears, Prussians and French Hearts. A Palmier is simply made from thin slices of puff pastry rolled into the shape of elephant’s ears or a heart shape (hence their adopted names in English), sprinkled with sugar and baked until the pastries are golden and caramelised.

In Rachel Khoo’s recipe, the base of the tartlets are similarly made from puff pastry which are rolled in sugar to give a crisp and caramelised crust, creating a wonderful contrast to the soft and delicate custard filling which is studded with sweet prunes.

Whilst a Far Breton is rather understated and restrained in its traditional composition, I’m rather impartial to Rachel Khoo’s sweet makeover. I ate one whilst it was still warm from the oven and my day suddenly felt better.

Prune & Custard Tartlets
Recipe adapted from My Little French Kitchen by Rachel Khoo
Makes 12 tartlets

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Cook’s Notes

Due to the sugar content in the pastry, the pastry will caramelise upon baking. Hence, it is important to remove them from the muffin tin as quickly as possible, otherwise they will stick to the pan. If you are unable to remove them quickly enough, simply pop the muffin tin back in the oven for a few minutes and try again.

The tartlets taste best when they are warm, but they keep well under a covered dish for a few days.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna 5 March 2014 at 3:13 pm

This is brilliant! The treatment of the pastry is reminiscent of kouign amann. But what a delicious addition, with prunes and custard. And, I have a muffin tray that looks just like the one in your photo. So I’d better get baking, don’t you think?

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Eat, Little Bird 5 March 2014 at 3:29 pm

Yes, in a way the pastry is similar to kouign amann, although due to its crispness once baked, I thought it tasted just like a palmier. I wonder which one Rachel Khoo had in mind when thinking up this recipe? And how wonderful that you also have the same muffin tray! I always love using this one :-)

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Paula 5 March 2014 at 5:45 pm

Oh, I love Far breton, I love your cute muffinpan, and the cup, and I love the idea of making them in form of tartlettes… because you eat more crust!! :P

How funny when we met “the other family”, and then, it’s like your own family, no secrets (well, you understand me, familiarity breeds contempt!).

Thank you for the step by step :D And, wow, seriously, where did you buy that cute cute cute muffinpan?? I would use it even to serve dips or appetizers!!

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Eat, Little Bird 5 March 2014 at 9:28 pm

How funny, I also like little tartlets because there is a better crust to filling ratio :-)

This muffin pan was a housewarming gift from when we lived in Chicago. I never thought of using it to serve dips but that’s a fantastic idea! I love this muffin pan because it’s a nice way of serving whatever I bake in them at the table. I’ve been waiting and waiting for an opportunity to use them on the blog :-)

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 5 March 2014 at 6:24 pm

Oh my, these look so good!! Awesome idea, friend!

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Eat, Little Bird 5 March 2014 at 9:29 pm

I agree that these tartlets are a clever idea. I love Rachel Khoo and her spin on old classics!

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Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday 5 March 2014 at 11:38 pm

These look gorgeous Thanh. I never was a big prune lover, until recently. Will definitely be trying these. I might even be able to sneak them past my hubby considering they are custard tartlets :D

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Eat, Little Bird 6 March 2014 at 5:39 pm

Oh I miss custard tarts in Australia. My parents used to sell them in their bakery and I used to love eating them after school. These prune & custard tartlets are a lovely reminder :-)

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Rushi 6 March 2014 at 8:49 am

Who in their right minds would say no to a Far Breton. I love that darling muffin pan, too cute for words. Really happy that you’re featuring alot of French food, they do have some scrummy sweet treats :) Hope you’re doing well.
xx

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Eat, Little Bird 6 March 2014 at 5:42 pm

Thanks, Rushi. It was never my intention to have so many French recipes on this blog, but it’s a good indication of what we eat at home. Although, I also cook a lot of Vietnamese food … I hope to feature more Asian cooking in the coming weeks :-) Even then, the French do desserts better than most!

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Anita Menon 11 March 2014 at 8:32 pm

Looks like such an intriguing recipe to try. I got rachel khoo’s the little paris kitchen and I cannot wait to try her recipes.. :-)

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Vickie 12 March 2014 at 2:32 am

Yum, those look absolutely awesome! & I love your muffin tin :)

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Tang 16 March 2014 at 3:26 pm

Love love your website and thanks to you for introduce me to Rachael Khoo. I have been cooking from her book. Quite a lot of fun with successes and failures recipes especially the baking section. Do you think it’s because of the conversion from metric to volume of the U.S. version?
Also, lovely muffin tin. How’s adorable is that tin!!! Is this a mini one or regular size one? It looks pretty small to be the regular size one.

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Eat, Little Bird 16 March 2014 at 6:21 pm

Hi Tang,
I hope you have been enjoying cooking from Rachel Khoo’s books, but sorry to hear if you have had some failures. I had a few disappointments in My Little Paris Kitchen but I wouldn’t say it was due to the recipe as such, more my failure in following the instructions properly. But then, sometimes a recipe will work for one person and not work for another, and it can be due to something like different ovens or different ingredients; an ordinary ingredient like flour can behave quite differently depending on its batch.

Which recipes in particular didn’t work out for you? If you suspect there is an error in the conversion for the US version, I would let Rachel Khoo know directly, either by emailing her or sending her a tweet. I’m sure she appreciates all feedback!

The muffin tin pictured above is a regular-sized one, although I think it looks small because it is ceramic. Muffin tins also vary greatly in size, from country to country …

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