Sunday, November 28, 2004

Pruneaux - Prunes in Wine

At the end of a fine evening meal, what better way to prolong its enjoyment than to nibble at a prune preserved in spiced armagnac. The liqueur that results from making the pruneaux can be used as a sauce over Coeur a la Crème or drizzled over a fine aged cheese and nuts.

Take a pound of prunes and prick them with a needle four times. Pour warm, strong tea over them and mascerate overnight. Drain the tea (can be used over ice cubes for a delicious drink). Fill preserving jars 3/4 full with prunes.

Bring to a simmer 2 parts red wine, 1 part armagnac (rum or eau de vie can be used as well), 1 part sugar, 1 vanilla bean and 1 stick cinnamon [Jean Paul has told me I forgot a bit of orange zest]. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the cinnamon, vanilla and orange zest and pour liquid over prunes. Seal and set back in a dark cupboard for at least two weeks. The longer it sits, the better it is.

To serve, place one prune in a goblet and cover with liqueur. Nibble with a spoon along with coffee.

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