It is an afternoon of dramatic lighting, rain and thunder. Much needed cooling temperatures and a bowl of Blue Goose Prunes for baking simple tartlets.
They sit in an old metal bowl as the light slowly dims seeming to have an inner glow.
I am enchanted with the texture and flavor. Somewhat like a plum but not…smaller and more oval, just a bit dryer in texture but every bite as sweet. I do think they will be wonderful baked in a simple crust.
A rare sight is a bag of fresh prunes in my local grocery. Why is this? It seems this particular and specifically grown Italian prune, which is not eaten dried but fresh, has a short growing season and is pretty uncommon in the Southern USA. A good reason to try these beauties while I have the chance.
Cut in half and easily pitted….tossed with dark brown sugar & Ligonberry liqueur I leave them to macerate for about 20 minutes.
Some whipped cream cheese blended with lemon zest and a bit more brown sugar.
See how beautiful the flesh of the prunes are after their soaking? I am using some thawed, frozen homemade pie dough, rolled out and cut into squares, with a smear of the cream cheese mixture before adding a 5 prune halves.
I gathered the dough up and around the fruit and then drizzled the leftover juice from the bowl of fruit into and over each tartlet. Ready to bake on a parchment paper lined sheet pan…..
25 minutes later….warm, juicy fruit in a crispy, not soggy bottomed, crust!
Finished with a dusting of powdered sugar..
Blue Goose Italian Prune Tartlets
- 1 lb Blue Goose Italian Prunes (or any other fresh prune or plum)rinsed & patted dry
- Pie crust dough for a double crust pie (homemade, refrigerator crust, frozen)
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup Ligonberry liqueur (or any not too sweet fruit liqueur)
- 8 ounces whipped cream cheese at room temperature
- zest of one lemon
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Half and core the prunes and place them in a mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the dark brown sugar and the Ligonberry liqueur over the prunes and toss well. Set aside for about 20 minutes for fruit to macerate. Toss with a spoon a few times during this time.
- In a small bowl blend the softened whipped cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, lemon zest and juice together until spreadable.
- Meanwhile roll out pie crust dough on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle. Cut into 6 squares. Each should measure about 6 x 6 inches more or less.
- Smear an equal amount of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of each square and top with 4 or 5 prune halves. Gather the dough edges up and around the fruit mixture to create a pouch with an open center. Place each one on the prepared sheet pan not touching.
- There will be some sugared fruit syrup left in the bowl where the prunes were macerating so pour this evenly into the openings of each pouch letting some run over the outside of the dough.
- Place sheet pan in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until tartlets are golden brown and crisp on the outside with a bubbly fruit center.
- Remove pan from the oven and let cool for about 10-15 minutes before serving dusted with powdered sugar. These are also very good the next day cold or at room temperature.
Teresa Blackburn http://www.foodonfifth.com http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com