Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Boozy Cranberry-Prune Custard Tart

I know what you’re thinking. 

You're wondering why anyone would want to eat a dessert with prunes. 

Well, let me assure you, these aren’t your Grandmother’s prunes.

These prunes are soaked in orange liqueur and black tea, then baked into a creamy custard and enclosed by a spiced tart shell.


The inspiration for this tart came from a recipe in The Art of the Tart by Tamasin Day-Lewis.  This was my first time baking a custard filled tart, as I usually bake tarts with fresh fruit and frangipane.  My only words of advice are add the hot milk and cream to the egg mixture very, very slowly to temper the eggs.  Otherwise you'll end up with half scrambled eggs and half custard.

Boozy Cranberry-Prune Custard Tart.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter
2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

20-25 pitted prunes
strong black tea
orange liqueur
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
1/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Cover the prunes with the liqueur and black tea and soak for roughly 5 hours or overnight.


2. For the dough, combine the flour, sugar and spices in a medium bowl and whisk together.  Cut the butter into small pieces and toss in the flour mixture.  Using your hands, work the butter into the flour until the butter is in pea-sized chunks.   

3.  Whisk the egg yolk and cream together in a small bowl, then pour into the flour-butter mixture.  Stir to moisten the flour.  If the dough is too dry to come together into a ball, add more heavy cream by the tablespoon just until the dough comes together.  Form the dough into a ball and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

4. When ready to bake, remove the dough from the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface.  Roll the dough into a large enough circle to fit an 11-inch tart pan.  Be sure to press the dough into the corners to prevent the shell from shrinking during baking.  Chill the shell in the fridge until cold and firm, about 30 min to 1 hour.  Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

5. Once chilled, line the tart shell with aluminum foil and baking beans. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove the beans and foil and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes, or until golden.  Allow to cool.  Reduce the oven to 300 degrees F.


6. Meanwhile, prepare the custard filling.  Place the milk and heavy cream in a saucepan and heat on low heat until hot. 

7. Beat the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer with the whisk attachment until pale and fluffy.  Pour the hot milk and cream over the egg mixture very slowly with the whisk running on slow, and continue to beat until well combined.  Set aside to cool.

8. Drain the prunes and lay in the tart shell along with the craisins.  Pour the custard over and place the tart on a baking tray.  Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the custard is lightly set.

9. Allow to cool and serve chilled.



  1. I'm looking for some inspiration to cook for some new interns on Monday, I might try this I'll let you know how I go.

  2. beautiful! what a great recipe to use prunes and cranberries in this lovely tart!

  3. What a great idea! It looks divine. :)

  4. I have never thought of prunes tart before. It sounds so amazing :) Your tart looks really gorgeous :)

  5. This looks great! I love prunes... I haven't used them in a recipe because I just eat them raw, but I could definitely go for this tart. Beautiful job!

  6. Thanks for all the kind comments!!

  7. Is it wrong that I didn't even think about the word prunes and was already on to, "who doesn't want a dessert that starts with the word boozy!". :) Looks great

  8. Kita- Haha, I hadn't thought of it that way!



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