This is a recipe, tweaked a bit, from my cookbook High Fibre, High Flavour. It remains one of my favourite books. Originally written for a wholewheat pastry I now usually make it with 150g plain white flour and 75g of beremeal, our local ancient barley flour produced here on Orkney at Barony Mill. They are enjoying really busy on-line sales to home bakers in these Covid days, so if you haven’t tried Orkney Beremeal yet why not put in an order?
Print the recipe here.
• 100g butter
• 225g flour
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 1 large egg
• 150g soft stoned prunes
• 40g walnuts
• 300ml milk, single cream or mixed
• 2 large eggs
• 1 tsp caster sugar (optional)
• 2 tbsp jam
• Freshly grated nutmeg
1. Cut the butter into small pieces. Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl then rub in the butter until well blended. Beat the egg and use it to bind the pastry together, adding a drop or two of water if required.
2. Roll out the pastry and use to line a 20cm loose-bottomed flan tin. Chill for 20 minutes or so while the oven is preheating to gas mark 6, 200C.
3. Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork then line it with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes
4. Chop the prunes and the walnut pieces. Add the eggs to the measured milk and cream and beat them together with the sugar, if using.
5. Carefully remove the parchment and beans. Bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until the base of the pastry is dry. Reduce the oven temperature to gas mark 4, 180C.
6. Spread the base of the tart with the jam and then scatter the prunes and walnuts over and fill the pastry case with the custard mix. Grate some nutmeg over the top.
7. Bake for a further 35-40 minutes until the custard is lightly set in the centre. Serve either warm or cold, with yogurt, cream or ice cream.
• If the pastry is very soft after mixing you can chill it before rolling it out. I, however, have never been very successful rolling pastry from the fridge so I have always preferred to chill it once it is in the tin.
• I like to use plum jam or apple jelly if possible, but any jam will be fine.
• I don’t always add sugar to the custard filling as I find the tart sweet enough without it for my taste – it is up to you and your sweet tooth.
• This is prunes and custard to delight and to even banish memories of school lunches for those of us old enough to remember them!