For the prunes (make in advance)
For the rice pudding
130g unsalted butter
150g unrefined caster sugar
200g risotto rice
2 litres full fat milk
300ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, split
A pinch of salt
Sugar for glaze
15 x brandy snaps
Cold creamed pudding with prunes
Place prunes in a Kilner jar. Half-fill the jar with stock syrup and then fill up to the top with Armagnac. Seal and set aside in a cool dark place for at least a month.
Pre-heat the oven to 100ÂºC. Melt the butter in a large heavy pan. Stir in sugar and rice. Cook gently for two minutes and then add milk. Stir well and bring to the boil. Add the remaining ingredients and transfer the pan to the oven. Cook uncovered for three to five hours or until the mixture has a good golden brown skin and a wobbly jelly-like texture underneath. Cool.
Stone prunes and transfer with liquor to a liquidiser and blitz until smooth. Quality of ingredients is vital for these. It is worth the extra expense to use Agen prunes and some decent Armagnac. I use a ChÃ¢teau de Lacquy VSOP at Â£22 a bottle; this six-year-old Armagnac makes all the difference.
To make a portion of the pudding place a spoonful of the prune purÃ©e in the bottom of a ramekin or brandy snap. Remove the skin from the rice pudding and loosen the mixture with a little whipping cream if it is too stiff. Fill the ramekin with the cold pudding, sprinkle over a little sugar and glaze as for a rice pudding.
Photo Â© Tom Stockhill