Armagnac-drenched prune tart
( SERVES 6 )
Photo by Allyson Gofton
At the Viv-en-Bigorre Saturday market in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France, I would buy lush, honeyed, moelleux prunes, which are plums only dried to 33 per cent moisture as opposed to the standard 10 per cent. The result was a truer plum taste and a fleshier texture that soaks up alcohol well. In New Zealand, find the softest prunes you can for this recipe.
|125 g||Pitted prunes, soaked overnight in ¼ cup armagnac or brandy|
|400 g||Puff pastry, defrosted, if frozen|
Creme fraiche topping
- Heat oven to 220C (200C fan bake). Lightly grease a baking tray or line with baking paper.
- On a lightly floured bench, roll out the pastry large enough to cut a 25 or 27cm round. Cut a 2cm edge off the outside of the pastry round and cut the strip once to open the strip of pastry out. Place the large circle on the prepared baking tray. Brush a 2cm wide edge of the large pastry round with milk or beaten egg. Place the long strip of pastry around the edge, pressing firmly to the pastry base; there will be more than you need.
- Brush the 2cm-wide edge of the pastry with milk or beaten egg to glaze, being careful not to let any glaze run over the sides as it will prevent the puff pastry from rising nicely. Prick the base really well with a fork. Refrigerate for 1 hour if time permits.
- While chilling, prepare the fillings. Beat the butter and sugar together with the egg and ground almonds until fluffy to make the almond batter. Stir the creme fraiche, egg yolks and sugar together, adding any armagnac that may be in the dish with the prunes. Set both aside.
- Bake the pastry base for 15 minutes or until the pastry is well cooked and deep golden. If you have a non-fan oven, you may find it takes a little longer. Remove from the oven and press the centre down with the back of a large spoon, to ensure there is a hollow for the filling.
- Spread the almond batter evenly over the centre of the tart. Pour the creme fraiche mixture on top. Sit the prunes in the creme.
- Return to a 190C oven for 15 minutes or until the filling has set and the pastry edges are very golden.
- I finished the tart by drizzling over toffee, though a dusting of icing sugar will be delightful too.
Another French market-inspired recipe from Allyson