These are delicious tarts adapted from a classic prune and Armagnac tart from France. They work beautifully with any stone fruits in summer and equally well with dried fruits plumped in alcohol. The poached pears will also work very well in this recipe.
This tart requires a bit of effort and can be tricky to get right, but if you would like a recipe in your repertoire that will earn you the greatest compliments every time you bake it, this is one to perfect. The difficulty with this recipe is to produce egg yolk custard without it curdling. You are looking for a fairly high ratio of fruit to custard, pouring a small pool of custard around fruit protruding from the tart. Bake the tarts on the top shelf of the oven and if your oven has the option to heat both the top and bottom, set the top element on high. The temperatures given are approximate, and more than any other recipe in this book, you will need to find the temperature and timing that works for your oven. Make sure you keep note of your cooking times and temperatures so that when you get it right, you can repeat it again and again.
Put the prunes in a bowl and pour over the brandy. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 24 hours to soak.
Follow the instructions to roll out the pastry and use it to line twenty
Make the egg wash by mixing the egg yolks and cream together in a bowl until well combined. Brush the egg mixture on the base and sides of the tart shells and
Place 4 or 5 pieces of drained prune in the base of each pastry shell. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
To make the custard, put the egg yolks and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the bowl and mix on medium speed for about 1 minute, or until combined. Remove the egg yolks from the mixer, pour in the cream and stir in by hand using a whisk. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Pour the custard mixture over the prunes in the pastry shells and fill to the brim. Slide onto the top shelf of the oven and
These tarts are best eaten about 2 hours after baking, once they have reached room temperature.
© 2009 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.