Prune and almond tarts

Pure indulgence from James Martin - crisp, golden pastry cases filled with frangipane and juicy prunes
By James Martin
Prune and almond tarts
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • 225 g prunes, pitted
  • 225 g ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • flour, for dusting
  • 5-6 tbsp cherry jam

For the frangipane:

  • 225 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • dashes of poire william liqueur
  • 4 eggs
  • 175 g ground almonds
  • 50 g plain flour

Method

1. Put the prunes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, covered, until tender. Drain the prunes, reserving the liquid, and set aside. Return the liquid to the pan and boil until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Next make the frangipane. Beat the butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes until almost white. Add a dash of the liqueur. Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, alternating with a handful of ground almonds and flour. This helps the butter and sugar cream to accept the eggs. Once all the eggs have been added, fold in the remaining ground almonds and flour.

3. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Lightly grease four 10cm fluted loose-bottomed tart tins about 2.5cm deep.

4. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and use to line the tart tins.

5. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cherry jam into the bottom of each tin. Then add a layer of frangipane followed by the prunes.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until nicely golden brown and set in the centre.

7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little. Brush with the reduced prune syrup and serve immediately.

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