The French name for this cake is "Le Far Aux Pruneaux." Pruneaux I knew meant prunes (although they are calling them "dried plums" now. Guess prunes had a bad rap.) Le Far was a new word to me so I looked it up and it means Breton Custard Cake with Prunes. So the name is apparently a little redundant. The recipe originated in Brittany, France.
The recipe came from a charming tea towel my girlfriend gave me. It is printed with the recipe in French. I read it over and could do a fairly decent job of understanding it but when it came time to make the cake, I relied on the English translation!
It is a very unusual batter--more like pancake batter than cake batter. It is supposed to go into a cake pan but there was no way it was all going to fit into my 8 inch cake pan. So I used a tube pan. it turned out fine but I couldn't get it out of the pan--had to slice it in the pan and serve it like that. No biggie because it was delicious! Reminded me of a clafouti crossed with cheese cake--cakey around the edges and custardy in the center.
1 cup whole prunes
4.5 cups light tea (I found 4 cups was enough)
1.5 cups white flour
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups plus 8 teaspoons warmed milk
3.5 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
"Spoonful of rum" (you are on your own as to what a spoonful is. I measured out a teaspoon but would use more next time.)
Macerate the prunes in the tea for 2 to 3 hours.
In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt. Make a well in the top. Pour in sugar and eggs (I beat the eggs first).
Add the warm milk to the bowl while constantly stirring. (Helps to have a second pair of hands or at least a third arm for this.)
Stir in the rum and vanilla. The batter will be very light and liquid.
Butter your cake pan with half the butter. Drain the prunes and arrange on the bottom of the pan. (Note: they will not stay where you put them when you pour in the batter.)
Pour the batter over the prunes (you can rearrange your prunes now.) Dot with the remaining butter (butter will sink.)
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for one hour. Cake will "fall" after being removed from the oven.
Kalon Digor! Meaning enjoy in the Breton dialect.