Dried fruit butters are thick and rich and not only make a perfect filling for some of the pastries that you’ll find in the dessert chapter but they also taste great, simply spread on toast or biscuits, lavished over a layer of cream cheese.
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To assemble the prune butter, place the prunes in a 2 1/2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan with enough cold water to cover them and bring the water to a brisk bubble. Turn the heat down to low and simmer the prunes gently (uncovered) until soft, about 10 minutes (timing will depend largely on their original suppleness). Drain the prunes, reserving 1 tablespoon of the poaching liquid and place the fruit with the lemon juice, poaching liquid and sugar into the bowl of your food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth, then use a rubber spatula to transfer the puree to a bowl and stir in the ground walnuts. Let the prune butter cool before storing in the refrigerator, in a well-sealed tub, for up to 3 weeks before using.