Prune & Armagnac tart

One of the sweet treats associated with this area of France is the classic Prune & Armagnac tart made with the amazing dried sweet plums of Agen.
One of the dishes from Rick Steins French Odyssey, which was filmed on the boat, however this recipe is different from that in the film as we use an almond frangipane to bind the prunes rather than the creme fraiche used in the T.V programme, because it creates a denser more flavourful texture than just creme fraiche & they are both classic preparations with in Agen.
This dessert has been a lunch staple on the boat this summer.

Shortcrust Pastry

250g plain flour type 45
125g butter
125g caster sugar
1 large egg
Pinch fresh grated nutmeg

Beat the butter & sugar together until smooth, blend in the flour & nutmeg until combined, then add the beaten egg & and blend in the egg until you have a smooth dough, do not overwork or you will have tough pastry.
Rest the dough for thirty minutes then roll out & line tart case, fill with beans
& blind bake at 180 C for about 20 minutes.

Filling

240g Stoned Agen prunes
100ml Armagnac

The night before soak the prunes in the Armagnac & leave until you need them.

Frangipane

150g Caster sugar
3 Whole large eggs
150g Ground almonds
15g Plain four T45
150g Melted butter

Combine caster sugar and eggs with a whisk until blended, then mix in ground almonds & flour, finally pour in the melted butter & mix until completely combined.

Place the prunes & any remaining Armagnac evenly in the bottom of the blind baked tart case & pour over the frangipane, level out the frangipane & bake at 170 C until set and golden brown.

This is not a common frangipane mix where you beat cold butter with the sugar and then add the eggs followed by the almonds & flour.
Using melted butter allows the mix to be runny to pour over the prunes & also changes the texture which is denser & compliments the juicy prunes.

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