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Author Notes: Here’s a smoky tea-flavored variation on a clafoutis-type dessert – known as a “flaugnarde,” as it contains a fruit other than cherries – that I often make using prunes soaked in a white wine similar to a Sauternes. Smoked teas like lapsang soochong and Russian Caravan nicely complement prunes, so I’m using one here. A strong Earl Grey would take this in another direction altogether, but would also work well. Enjoy!! ;o) —AntoniaJames
- 6 ounces pitted prunes
- 1 cup freshly brewed strong Lapsang Soochong or other smoky tea
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- A dash of cinnamon for sprinkling on top
- 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- ½ cup almond meal (See the notes in steps below if you prefer to use flour instead.)
- At least 6 hours before making the flaugnarde, put the prunes and the tea in a small heavy saucepan and bring just to a simmer. Press down hard on the prunes with the back of a spoon to help them soak up the tea. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside.
- When ready to make the flaugnarde, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the prunes from the saucepan, pressing on them gently to release excess syrup back into the pan. Reduce the syrup over low heat at a bare simmer for about 2 or 3 minutes, or until there are only about 2 tablespoons left. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, put the half and half, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest into a blender.
- Sift the confectioners’ sugar (or put it through a fine sieve) to remove the lumps. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small bowl.
- Add the remaining sugar and the syrup from the pan to the blender, as well as the almond meal. If you want to use flour instead of almond meal, don’t add it quite yet.
- Blend thoroughly for about a minute. If you are using flour, add it after blending, then blend just a few more seconds to incorporate it.
- Allow the batter to rest for about 15 minutes.
- Prepare a 9 inch pie plate by buttering it generously. Put it on a large cookie sheet.
- Scatter the prunes in the pie plate. Once the batter has rested, pour it over the prunes. Put the pie plate -- still on the cookie sheet -- in the middle of the oven and cook for 40 - 45 minutes.
- Check after 20-25 minutes. If it is darkening too much around the edges, frame it with foil as you would a pie crust to keep it from browning further. (If it hasn’t browned too much, check again after about 35 minutes total.)
- It will puff up slightly when done. It should generally seem firm, though the center may be ever so slightly soft.
- Add the cinnamon to the reserved confectioners’ sugar and stir to combine.
- Once the flaugnarde has been out of the oven for about 10 minutes, shake the sugar and cinnamon through a fine sieve all over the flaugnarde.
- Enjoy!! ;o)
- N.B. The blender method and ratios for the batter are based somewhat on the pear flaugnarde recipe in Russ Parsons' terrific, "How to Pick a Peach." ;o)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Tea
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