Prune and Armagnac Tart

David Massey's irresistible almond-filled tart is studded with brandy-soaked prunes and brushed with sticky prune glaze - make with squashy semi-dried Agens for the best results
By David Massey
Prune and Armagnac Tart
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus chilling and steeping
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the prunes

  • 175 g prunes, preferably Agen
  • 50 ml armagnac
  • 60 g icing sugar, for the glaze

For the pastry

  • 100 g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp plum jam, for lining the base

For the almond filling

  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp blanched flaked almonds

Method

1. Soak the prunes in Armagnac and leave on one side for 2 hours.

2. Beat the butter and icing sugar in a mixing bowl until soft and pale. Add the egg and beat until smooth, before folding in the flour. Knead the dough until smooth, and shape into a disc. Cover in plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

3. Lightly grease a 28cm loose-bottomed flan tin with butter. Dust a work surface with a little flour and roll out the pastry to 5mm thick - about 4cm larger than the diameter of the flan tin. Line the tin with the pastry, trimming off any excess pastry with a sharp knife. Lightly prick the base with a fork. Chill the lined flan tin in the refrigerator for another 15 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

5. For the almond filling, cream the butter and caster sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the ground almonds, beat in the eggs and stir in the cornflour.

6. Remove the tart from the fridge. Spread a thin layer of plum jam over the base. Spoon in the almond mixture and smooth over. Strain the prunes in a sieve, retaining the juice. Carefully press the prunes into the almond mixture. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake the flan for about 40 minutes. When the pastry is a golden brown, remove and leave the flan to cool.

7. Pour the juice from the prunes in a saucepan and add the icing sugar. Reduce over a gentle heat to a thick syrup - about 5 minutes. Brush the top of the tart with the syrup, remove from the flan tin and serve hot.

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