I’ve got an amazing recipe from Frances Quinn, winner of last years Great British Bake Off, featuring California Prunes. And in honour of ‘Biscuit Week’ on the show this week, they’re perfect to give a try.
California Prune Pout Dodgers
100g Icing Sugar
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp Almond Extract
100g Ground Almonds
200g Plain Flour
300g California Prunes
1 tsp Vanilla Extract or paste
Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 375F, Gas Mark 5.
Cream together the butter and icing sugar, then gradually beat in the egg and almond extract.
Sift and stir in the flour and ground almonds and mix to a fairly soft dough.
Cover or wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
While chilling, create the prune puree.
Place the prunes in a saucepan and cover with some water.
Heat gently to soften before draining off most of the liquid. Leave a little back to help create a smoother puree.
Place in a blender with the vanilla extract and puree to a paste.
Set aside to cool and transfer into an empty clean jam jar.
Once the biscuit dough has chilled, roll out on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper to around 3mm thick.
Cut into rounds with a 6cm cookie cutter.
Transfer on to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and cut out either lips, smiley faces or both from half the biscuits using appropriate shaped cutters or template.
If creating pouts, you can use the cut out lips to create lip smacking prune pouts by sandwiching them together with the California Prune Puree once baked.
Bake the biscuits for approx. 5-10 minutes until the edges have turned lightly golden in colour.
The cut out lips will take only a few minutes, so if baking these I’d advise placing them on a different tray so can be removed from the oven earlier.
Once out of the oven leave the biscuits on the baking tray to cool.
Once cooled, place the uncut biscuit bases tray side up on a clean surface and carefully spread the prune puree on top. Place the pouts or biscuit smiles on top of the biscuit base and California Prune puree and carefully squeeze and sandwich together.
Frances’ Prune Pout Top Tips
“If making adult friendly prune dodgers you can give the filling an alcoholic kick by using Armagnac rather than water to cover and soften the California Prunes!”
“When blending the vanilla extract and puree to a paste, a mini or hand held blender works best, unless making twice the amount of prune puree!”
“I created the smiley faces eyes using a straw to cut out the eyes and a miniature alphabet cutter ‘C’ turned on its side to produce the smile.”
“Any extra biscuit dough, freezes well or can be kept in the fridge for a week.”
“Jammie Dodgers are a popular British biscuit, so I thought I’d give them an American twist via California Prunes and a ‘naturally sweet’ pout!
“Whether pouting or smiling these biscuits will leave you with something to both snack on and smile about. Because California Prunes are naturally sweet, the prune puree filling contains no added sugar. The 300g of California Prunes used to create the puree is also the ideal amount to fit inside a jam jar once made, making it the perfect portable accompaniment to use in and outside the biscuits. For example any leftover California Prune Puree can be kept in the jar and is delicious stirred through porridge or spread over toast and used as a reduced sugar alternative to jam.”