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Prune & Cognac Tart

A dish made famous by many people and is a match made in heaven, just like ricotta and honey, sage and burnt butter, mushrooms and thyme, it just works…..well the match actually is Prune and Armagnac, but when you only need a couple of tablespoons, you make use of what you have instead of buying a whole new bottle…..and what I had was Hennesy VSOP cognac, so I do not think it is that bad a substitution.

This tart was actually a birthday present for a friend of mine, a chef of my local restaurant, which is absolutely fantastic…..sorry about the plug, BUT you must must try it. I strongly suggest the “Trust the Chef” which is a tasting menu for $60, and when you can BYO some amazing wine, it turns out to be a fantastic night of good food that won’t leave you broke.

Peacock Trattoria
25 Kyle Parade, Kyle Bay
9546 6900

So it was Drew’s birthday and he was stuck at the restaurant for the lunch service, and I felt bad for him, not being able to celebrate on such a lovely sunny day, so I really wanted to take him something. The idea of the Prune and Armagnac actually came from their menu where they have a Bitter Chocolate tart wit Prune and Armagnac ice cream (which is absolutely delectable!) and this sparked my interest to make the actual tart. I researched and finally found a recipe I was happy with, which is by Skye Gyngell.

I bought the prunes, which I now have fallen in love with and did not realise that I actually got ones still with their seeds inside, so it took me a good 30 minutes to pip them, but the tart was reasonably easy to make. It is a simple shortcrust tart shell, then the filing is predominantly cream, egg and sugar. I was actually expecting to put the cognac in the filling, but if you think about it, it will be cooked off.

The filling was cooked to perfection then the time had come to pour the cognac over the hot tart fresh out of the oven so it is absorbed right through. One tip……don’t be conservative, pour it over so it gets in every section of the tart, I was convinced the little piece I had did not have any cognac in it.

Once done I took it over to the restaurant and Drew had a huge smile on his face… job was nearly done but the ultimate result was from the taste test. He cut it up into slices and tasted……….and LOVED it!

I was so happy that I can even please a chef who is able to make the most amazing dishes.

Prune & Cognac Tart

Tart pastry
300g pitted prunes
30g unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
120g caster sugar
vanilla extract
1 tbsp orange blossom water
5 tbsp double cream
3 tbsp almond meal
5 tbsp cognac (or armagnac)… I added a little extra!

1. Prepare the tart shell as directed in the link above and only blind bake, do not completely brown. Cool.
2. Soak prunes in hot water for 10 minutes then drain and pat dry. Arrange prunes over the base of the cooled tart shell.
3. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, orange blossom, cream and almond meal. Then stir in melted butter.
4. Pour over the prunes in the tart shell – carefully so you do not ruin their arrangement.
5. Bake in the 180 degree oven for 25-30 mins or until the top is a nice golden brown.
6. While still hot, pour the cognac over the tart evenly, then once fully absorbed, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with creme fraiche.

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