Prune compote custard tart

Prune compote custard tart

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Serves
6
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

This is a delicious take on a classic French tart. You could use almost any thick compote instead of prunes; apricots and dates also work beautifully. You can use 3 whole eggs and 3 additional yolks instead of the 9 egg yolks if you prefer a custard that is less rich. You will need a deep 24cm loose-based flan tin (or ring).

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Pâte sucrée
extra flour, to dust

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
400g dried stoneless prunes
2 earl grey tea bags
500ml double cream
1 vanilla pod
9 egg yolks
100-125g caster sugar

Method

  1. Put the prunes and tea bags in a small bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Set aside for 20 minutes, or until softened slightly.
  2. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm thickness and use to line the deep, loose-based flan tin or flan ring set on a baking sheet. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until very firm to the touch, 20–30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 190°C.
  3. Blind bake the pastry case for 15–20 minutes, ensuring the paper is pushed well into the corners of the pastry and the excess paper is folded over the edge of the pastry case, to help prevent the pastry from browning. Remove the beans and paper, taking care as the pastry will still be very soft, and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 150°C.
  4. Meanwhile, drain the prunes well, discarding the tea bags, then transfer them to a food processor and pulse to a coarse, soft paste that holds its shape. If it’s too loose, simmer to reduce in a small saucepan, then leave to cool completely.
  5. Pour the cream into a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways, scrape out the seeds and add both the seeds and empty pod to the cream. Bring to scalding point (when small bubbles begin to form at the edges of the pan and the cream steams), then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for about 20 minutes, before removing the vanilla pod.
  6. Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl, add 100g sugar and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon to break up the yolks. Pour over a little of the infused cream to loosen, stirring constantly, then add the remaining cream in stages. Pass through a sieve into a large jug and taste, adding more sugar if necessary.
  7. Spread a layer, 3–4mm thick, of the prune compote onto the base of the tart case. Over the back of a spoon, carefully pour on enough of the filling to half fill the pastry case. Transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven, then pour in more filling until the tart is as full as possible. Bake for 40–50 minutes until almost set, with a very soft wobble across the surface. A violent ripple across the middle indicates it is not set.
  8. Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool a little, then carefully remove the sides of the tin or ring. Leave to cool completely before serving.
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