Pruneaux à l’Eau-de-Vie

Prunes in Eau-de-Vie

Although pruneaux d’Agen are highly thought of and cost more in France, I’ve found most large prunes (but not the pre-soaked kind – they disintegrate) are particularly good preserved this way.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg( lb) large prunes
  • 2 tablespoons dried lime flowers
  • 115 g(4 oz) sugar
  • 1 litre( pt) eau-de-vie blanche (40°)

Method

Measure the prunes into a bowl. In a jug or teapot make an infusion with the lime flowers and 750 ml( pt) boiling water. Stir and leave for 5 minutes, then strain over the prunes. Cover and leave overnight. Next day drain the prunes on a cloth and discard the lime tea. Pack the fruit into a jar.

Dissolve the sugar with 2–3 tablespoons water in a small pan over low heat. Pour the syrup over the prunes and fill up the jar with eau-de-vie, making sure that all the fruit is covered.

Seal the jar and leave in a cold place for at least 1 month and preferably 6 before serving. As far as I can judge the prunes only improve with time.

Occasionally Mme Marquet replaces the eau-de-vie with Armagnac but she declines to use the whisky I take her – that is reserved for M. Marquet to sample along with roasted chestnuts around the fire.

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