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    Tarte aux Prunes

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    Tarte aux Prunes

    Plum tarts are everywhere in France in late August and September – there's even a festival dedicated to them in Loir-et-Cher. This version is both sweet and sharp, with a layer of crème pâtissière for good measure.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes with 20 minutes preparation time
    • Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes 60 minutes 50 minutes

    Serves: 10

    Ingredients

    • Crème Pâtissière
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 60g caster sugar
    • 40g cornflour
    • 350ml milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 500g sweet shortcrust pastry
    • 800g plums, halved and stones removed
    • A little icing sugar
    • 2 tbsp apricot jam
    • 1 tbsp brandy or water

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry thinly and line a 28cm tart tin with it. Chill for half an hour, then prick the base all over with a fork. Line with baking parchment, weight down with baking beans and bake blind for 12 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment and return the pastry to the oven for 8 minutes to dry out. Take out of the oven and turn the heat up to 200°C, gas mark 6.
    2. Meanwhile, make the crème pâtissière. Bring the milk to the boil. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, then work in the cornflour. Pour on the milk, whisking all the time. Rinse the pan, then tip in the custard mixture. Bring to the boil, stirring. Don't worry about any lumps – as it gets close to the boil it will smooth out. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
    3. Spread the crème pâtissière on the pastry. Arrange the plums on top, in concentric circles, domed-side upward. Dust lightly with icing sugar and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, until the plums are tender and catching in the heat. They will also ooze lots of juice. While the tart is still warm, heat the apricot jam and brandy together until runny, then brush over the plums. Leave to cool, then serve in big wedges, with crème fraîche for those that want it.

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    Drinks recommendation

    The whiff of fresh caramel custard from a top-class Sauternes will chime well here.

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    5 stars