To make my neighbor Françoise’s far breton work with apples I made one minor/major adjustment: I let the batter rest before baking. The tiny tweak made a huge difference in the final texture–and it’s a step I plan to use with all my fars–including Françoise’s classic, with prunes–in the future. The quality of the milk is important here; whole milk is essential and if you can get fresh milk from a local dairy, that’s even better.
2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
pinch of salt, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 medium apples, peeled and cut into ½-inch slices (about 1 lb.)
1 teaspoon butter, for the baking dish
Measure the milk into a cup measure. Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and crack the eggs into it. Whisk the eggs into the flour mixture, adding a little milk until all the flour is incorporated. Gradually whisk in the remaining milk until you have a smooth batter. Cover, and refrigerate 1 hour, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425˚F, and place an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Butter an 8 x 8-inch or 1-quart baking dish with the butter.
Whisk the vanilla into the batter, then add the sliced apples. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Bake the far at 425˚F for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚F, and bake 35 to 45 minutes more. The apple slices on top will turn a deep brown. This adds caramelized flavor but if you worry they will burn, cover the far with aluminum foil. Test doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center. There may still be some liquid on top of the far, but the toothpick should come out clean.
Turn off the oven, leave it cracked open, and allow the far to cool in the oven. (You can take it out to cool on the counter after an hour.) Let the far cool completely before cutting into slices and serving. Store leftovers in the fridge.
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