Instead of of sauternes, I used a bottle of Beringer's Nightingale 2000. This botrytised Napa Valley dessert wine is named after some folks with the last name of Nightingale, who made a 30 year study of "the noble rot" which is responsible for the honeyed flavor of French sauternes. Or so it says on the label. I brought this little bottle home with me from a California trip a few years ago, where I found a few bottles marked down. This is my last, the others have all been happily consumed. It does taste very like sauternes.
This easy preparation is yummy, and really special. It is wonderful poured over ice cream, or with runny English style custard, and makes a lovely and extravagent food gift. These quantities make just enough to fill a one quart canning jar, which you can store in the fridge, plus a little bit to have right away, so you can reassure yourself it was worth it. If I was planning on making a gift of it, I'd definitely put it in 2 pint jars, and keep one for myself.
You can use any honeyish dessert wine, but it won't be right unless you splurge a bit, and get a very nice one, that you'd be happy to drink. Here's all you do:
In a heavy saucepan, mix a bottle of dessert wine (Typically, dessert wines come in small bottles. You need a whole small bottle.) , 5 tsps honey, and 2 tbsps brandy with 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil and add about 22 oz. of pitted prunes. Turn down the heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Spoon the prunes into a sterilized 1 qt canning jar, and pour the hot liquid over them, put on a sterilized 2 piece canning lid, and close the jar. Cool to room temperature, and store in fridge. Eat the little bit of leftover prune and liquid over some vanilla ice cream, and anticipate future desserts.