It's late in Paris, where David Lebovitz is sleeping. His challenge to blog about prunes today has been answered around the globe, but the clock has not struck midnight in the U.S. yet, and I'm still working on dinner.
I don't cook with prunes usually, though I have no aversion to them. I like them as a finger food or natural snack. Add a bit of orange or lemon or cranberry flavor to them and I'll eat a pound in no time.
But cooking with prunes. Interesting. I might like cooked prunes, but how many other people would? Would our readers abandon us en masse for the next Rachael Ray's website - someplace safe with a mac and cheese recipe?
Look, let's be frank here. We know each other. You won't like this tart. No sir (or madam) - not at all. You should probably just click on one of those links over there to the right and not read about how the onions carmelized in the pan or how the prunes sweetness perfectly offset the salty blue cheese or how the crispy buttery crust crunched beneath our forks.
No, you should probably go on thinking prunes are for old people and that certainly mixing sweet and salty flavors together is some sort of peculiar alchemy performed by the mentally imbalanced. That's what I'd do if I were you. I'd flee this recipe. Isn't Amateur Gourmet going somewhere nice for dinner? Doesn't Mahanandi have some new curry recipe to share? Is Coltilde back from vacation yet?
No, I wouldn't make this tart if I were you. No point to it, really. I suppose if you have to, you could use the recipe below and enjoy the sensation of a...
Blue Cheese, Prune and Onion Tart
1 pre-baked pie crust
1 cup prunes, pits removed
2 large sweet onions, sliced very thin
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 cup balsamic vinegar (use the cheap stuff)
4 ounces medium blue cheese (Maytag was my choice)
Make the crust and pre-bake it using any unsweetened buttery crust recipe to produce a crisp crust. If you need a crust recipe, use the one from this quiche.
Boil enough water to cover the prunes in a bowl. Cover them and let sit for twenty minutes. Chop prunes coarsely.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Sautee the onions over medium heat in a large sauce pan in the oil. Salt lightly. A lot of water will come out of the onions. Either cook it away or drain after ten minutes and add the balsamic. Toss to coat and continue cooking the onions. Cook until liquid is absorbed and onions are meltingly soft.
Mix the mustard powder and prunes into the onions well and heat through. If you are so inclined, you could add a few minced anchovy filets at this point.
Dump the whole mess in the piecrust and crumble the blue cheese all over the top of the tart. Bake for 25 minutes in a 350 F oven or until the cheese takes on a bit of color and the crust is crispy.
Nice and sweet with no added sugars. Everything sweet you taste is from the balsamic and the onions. The blue cheese (and optional anchovy) cuts through the sweetness.
But don't bother making this. You don't like prunes.