Prune and armagnac tart

Serves 6-8
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Indy Lifestyle Online

This is a classic, rich French tart that should finish off your New Year's supper perfectly before you get stuck into the real armagnac. You can make it as large or small as you wish by just amending the quantities; I suggest you cook this in an ovenproof serving dish or a non- stick shallow tart tin that you can turn out. The shape is up to you; it can be rectangular or round, or even square if you wish.

200g butter puff pastry, rolled to about 1/3cm thick
1 litre double cream
70g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split, and seeds scraped out
4 egg yolks
20 no-soak prunes just covered in armagnac or brandy and left overnight

You'll need roughly a 25-30cm x 3-4cm deep round tart tin or you could use a rectangular one measuring about 30cm x 20cm. Prick the pastry all over with a fork. Cover with greaseproof paper or foil, then fill with baking beans to stop the pastry rising. Leave to rest for at least an hour in the fridge.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Put the cream in a saucepan with the sugar, vanilla pod and seeds. Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring with a whisk every so often until it has reduced by half and thickened. Bake the tart case for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beans and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Discard the vanilla pod, scraping away any seeds and leave to cool a little, then whisk in the egg yolks. Drain the prunes if there is any liquid left (add this to the cream) and dot around the pastry. Pour the cream into the tart and return to the oven for 10-12 minutes until the tart just begins to colour. Leave to cool and serve at room temperature.

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