Serves 8. Be sure to make a good strong tea (I used about one tablespoon of loose Earl Grey tea leaves to the two cups of water) for soaking the prunes.
1 partially pre-baked and cooked flaky sweet pastry shell
2 cups strong black tea
1 pound prunes, pitted
The cream filling
1/4 cup whole unbleached almonds
1 large egg, slightly beaten
5 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp eau-de-vie or brandy
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
- At least one hour before preparing the tart, pour the hot tea aver the prunes and set aside to marinate.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Prepare the cream filling:
- In a spice grinder or the bowl of a food processor, grind the almonds to a fine powder.
- Thoroughly blend the almonds with the egg, sugar, brandy, and cream.
- The mixture should be very smooth.
- Drain the prunes, discarding all of the soaking liquid.
- Carefully arrange the prunes in the cooled, pre-baked tart shell.
- This will seem like a lot of prunes, and you may have to arrange them in two layers.
- Pour the cream filling over the prunes and place the tart in the center of the oven.
- Bake until the cream filling has set and the tart shell is nicely browned, about 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.
Source: Patricia Wells, New York Times Magazine (11/5/89)