Prune and almond tart

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

The garnish

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)