Prunes in Armagnac with Creme Fraiche

This is an adaptation of a famous recipe served in Gascony, a region of southwestern France where Armagnac-a smooth, dark, aromatic brandy-is made. Candied oranges, sometimes called glaceed oranges, can be used in place of the fresh ones. Look for high-quality candied oranges in specialty-food shops; use 1 cup, cut into 2-inch pieces, and add them during the last 10 minutes of cooking. This dessert is traditionally served in a pitcher, with the prunes on the bottom and the creme fraiche on the top, although it is equally sensational served in large wineglasses. You can prepare the prune mixture up to 3 weeks in advance; store it in a covered container in the refrigerator.
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