Shane Osborn: Agen prunes with thyme financières and orange and Cognac Chantilly

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • ½ orange, finely grated rind and juice only
  • ½ lemon, finely grated rind only
  • 1 English breakfast tea bag
  • 2 star anise
  • ½ cinnamon quill
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 185 gm Agen prunes (see note)
  •  
  • Thyme financières
  • 125 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 110 gm eggwhite (about 2 eggs)
  • 60 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 40 gm honey
  • 45 gm plain flour
  • 45 gm almond meal
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  •  
  • Orange and Cognac Chantilly
  • 400 ml thickened cream
  • 1 tbsp pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 2 oranges, finely grated rind only
  • 20 ml Cognac
01   Combine juice, rinds, tea bag, spices, bay leaf and 750ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a gentle simmer, cook until infused (8-10 minutes). Remove tea bag, add prunes, simmer for 10 minutes, set aside.
02   For thyme financières, cook butter in a saucepan over medium heat until nut brown (4-6 minutes), set aside to cool. Whisk eggwhite in an electric mixer until starting to foam (1-2 minutes), gradually add sugar, then honey. Combine well, add flour, almond meal and thyme, then gradually add melted butter in a thin stream until a thick batter is formed. Refrigerate for 1 hour to rest. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Divide mixture among eight patty-case-lined, 80ml-capacity muffin tray moulds, smooth tops and bake until golden or until a skewer withdraws clean (10-15 minutes). Set aside, keep warm.
03   For orange and Cognac Chantilly, whisk cream, sugar and rind in a chilled electric mixer bowl until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes), then whisk in Cognac. Serve immediately with financières and prunes.
Note Agen prunes, from Agen in France, are available from select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute other pitted prunes.

This recipe is from the July 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

SHANE OSBORN

Photography:

BEN DEARNLEY

Styling:

KIRSTEN BOOKALLIL

Drinking Suggestion:

SMALL GLASS OF ARMAGNAC. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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