I am absolutely exhausted after realising that our date with Jules as part of our Ab Fab celebrations yesterday coincided with our 500TH FREAKING RECIPE (and Australia doing me proud and voting for love to win). I mean, 500 recipes and no one has offered me a cookbook deal yet?! In any event, the ravages of time are starting to hit me so I decided to get my ol’ girl Dame June Whitfield over for a calm, celebratory occasion.
Oh how I fucking – sorry, forking – love Juney Whits.
I’ve been friends with June for the longest time after quickly becoming best friends on the set of my show, The Benny Hill Show. Did I ever mention my full name is actually Benjamin James Woodley Judd Hill? No? Well soz.
In any event, June and I became the fastest of friends and I’ve supported her all our lives. I mean, from the questionable Carry On films, to the magic of Miss Marple on the gramophone, to the glorious episode of my hit show slash passion project Sooty and of course, Ab Fab, I’ve been by her side to guide and support her. No matter what.
Give the fact travelling is starting to impact as both due to our advanced years, June and I haven’t been able to see as much of each other as I’d like. Thankfully the extended absence we’ve shared has only made the date more meaningful. As did my bowel friendly Prune Whitfield Tart.
While prunes have some bad, elderly connotations … this tart is actually quite delicious. Super sweet, super rich AND it keeps you super regular. What more could you want?
Prune Whitfield Tart
3 cups stoned prunes
250g unsalted butter, cubed
250g raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking powder
juice of a lemon
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp almond extract
Place the prunes in a bowl and soak in water overnight.
Cut to the next day and combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in a food processor, and blitz until the butter is completely soaked. Add the flour and blitz until wet breadcrumbs are formed. Add the eggs and baking powder and blitz until just combined. Remove, shape into a disc, wrap in cling and place in the fridge for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
While the dough is getting chill, place the prunes in a large saucepan with the muscovado sugar, lemon juice and almond essence and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for half an hour, or until the water is reduced. Blitz using a stick blender and leave to cool slightly.
Split the dough 2:1 and roll the 2 part out until 3mm thick and layer into a pie dish and transfer to the fridge to chill while you prep the lattice. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into 2cm thick strips.
Fill the dish with the prune filling before gently forming a lattice – use the Fiona Apple method – on the top of the pie. Crimp the edges to seal and transfer to the oven to bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until brown and crisp.
Allow to cool, dust with icing sugar and devour, greedily.