The flognarde now has her temple in Limoges
Milk, flour, eggs, sugar: we are well on our way to making pancakes. Except that we are in the Massif Central and here these same ingredients can be used as a base for this emblematic dish of our region which is flognarde.
Iconic ? Better: identity! To the point of being one of the (rare) specialties recognized on culinary sites as immediately associated with Limousin, embodying the popular values of humility, simplicity and sharing.
Moreover, barely mentioned, the word flognarde (or flaugnarde, it depends…) awakens in our palates and in our memories this taste of nostalgia which sends us back to our peasant origins. The sweet memory of a dessert quickly made but so well made, a simple and effective recipe that our grandmothers made with just the right amount of rusticity, delicacy and know-how.
A taste of nostalgia
Thus, I remember a draft notebook with a purple cover and marked with a few grease stains that my grandmother took out of the drawer of the large farmhouse table. There, between the stuffed cabbage recipe and that of the chocolate mousse, the proportions and the different stages of making the flognarde were recorded in a slightly slanted handwriting. A simple recipe, without trap, close to that of pancakes, except that the dough has this consistency and this elasticity close to the texture of flan.
Some time later, when it was time for dessert, she would place this still hot plate on the table. As soon as it came out of the oven, the flognarde began to deflate. It was the moment when she had just sprinkled, with this little quivering gesture, a rain of powdered sugar, which melted on contact with the still warm apples and dough.
It is this famous flognarde that Francis Morlaix, Laurence Verhaeghe and Fabrice Prunier have decided to place at the center of an original and audacious concept in Limoges. “We were looking to carry out a project around a dish that would be at the same time consensual, local and simple. And the flognarde appeared to us as the ideal product, because regional, because everyone knows it, because it could be declined and valued at will,” explains Francis, known in Limoges for being the manager of the ‘Les Halles grocery store.
“It’s true that the flognarde recipe remains a simple recipe far from the sophisticated and rigorous approach of contemporary pastry creations. Here, everyone can add their personal touch. For example, in the dough, some people add rum, others Grand-Marnier when my grandmother never forgot the little drop of mirabelle plum which goes well”, explains Fabrice Prunier, the chef, who ensures the preparation of the flognardes according to his inspirations and the products of the moment.
He does not hesitate to offer different versions that thrive on seasonality: from the traditional and original flognarde with apples (from Limousin) to, when summer comes, preparations of peaches, plums, apricots and even Red fruits. And there, we rub shoulders with another recipe of the moment which heralds summer, endless days and swifts in the sky: the venerated… clafoutis!
Because yes, recently, a brand new brand called “Francis – Flognardes & Clafoutis” has found a place of choice in the district of the halls of Limoges, in an elegant shop on Place de la Motte.
It offers a range of sweet flognardes but also savory versions where you can use your imagination to create tasty recipes from bacon bits and cheese. But you can also embark on more glamorous variations, associated with caviar from Aquitaine for example.
In love with Scottish culture, Fabrice even dares to create a “Highlands” from beans and haggis, this symbolic dish of Scotland made from sheep’s stomach.
“We are not in a classic quiche device. Made with more butter, the dough is more gourmet and tastier, more consistent also with this very special texture reminiscent of flan”, confirms Fabrice, convinced of the gourmet potential of his creations.
There is no doubt that with such initiatives, the flognarde is not about to fall into oblivion; even better, it could win back the hearts and palates of the younger generations, some of whom like to rediscover the authenticity of our local recipes.