Prune

Prune

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Any kind of dried plum. Certain varieties of plums are particularly suitable for drying. Prunes should be black and shiny, with a moist, dark, sweet flesh. They may often be eaten or used for cooking without any preliminary soaking, but soaking will soften them and reduce cooking time. Red or white wine may be used to give a slightly different flavour, and soaking in weak tea is said to enhance the prunes’ flavour.

A simple dish of stewed prunes may be offered for breakfast or as a dessert, and many more elaborate desserts are based on prunes. Halved prunes may be added to a plain cake, a steamed pudding or a custard in place of raisins or sultanas (golden raisins), and the inclusion of nicely plumped prunes in a winter fruit salad makes a welcome change.

The rich flavour of prunes also combines well with meats such as pork and rabbit. In Germany, prunes are often associated with goose – for example, in a stuffing with apples, with goose giblets or with haricot beans or lentils, to accompany goose or duck.

Large stoned dessert prunes may be stuffed with a whole almond or walnut, with almond paste or fondant, or with ground walnuts, sweetened with sugar or honey. Overnight soaking in port or Madeira beforehand will add a delightfully subtle difference to their flavour.

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