You can bottle these prunes for last-minute entertaining. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 500 gm Agen prunes (see note)
- 2 unpeeled oranges, sliced
- 400 ml Cognac
- 150 gm raw caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon quill
Crème fraîche ice-cream
- 400 ml milk
- 100 ml pouring cream
- 8 egg yolks
- 160 gm caster sugar
- 480 gm crème fraîche
- 1Place prunes and orange in a bowl. Stir Cognac, sugar, orange juice and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved (2-4 minutes), pour over prunes and orange, cover and set aside to macerate (overnight-2 days).
- 2For crème fraîche ice-cream, bring milk, cream and vanilla seeds to the boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until pale. Pour milk mixture over yolk mixture, whisking continuously, then return to pan and stir continuously over low heat until mixture coats a spoon thickly (5-10 minutes). Stir in crème fraîche, refrigerate until well chilled (1 hour), freeze in an ice-cream machine, then freeze until firm. Makes about 1.25 litres. Serve with prunes and oranges in Cognac.
Note Agen prunes, from Agen in France, are available from select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute another type of prune.