Intensely coloured and wonderfully fragrant, deep-red blood plums are one of the stone fruit season’s greatest pleasures. They are doubly delicious halved and grilled under a fluffy blanket of decadent custard given a very adult kick with a dose of one of France’s favourite spirits.
Armagnac is a type of brandy distilled in Gascony in south-western France. According to The Oxford Companion to Wine, “At its best armagnac offers the drinker a depth, a natural sweetness and a fullness unmatched by even the finest cognac. Armagnac is underrated, however, because far too high a proportion is sold young.”
The Companion notes also that armagnac is one of the least industrialised spirits: it’s “one where amateurs can most legitimately hope to find a neglected bottle which they can cherish because it offers unique qualities, probably not shared even by a bottle from the next cask in the cellar where it was lodged.”
If you don’t have a dusty bottle of armagnac lurking in the pantry, simply substitute brandy—the custard will be sublime either way.