October 28, 2005
The Best Thing To Do With Prunes

Okay, I'm going to have to jump on the bandwagon here too, despite not having any nifty photos. Because I actually like prunes. And no, I'm not over the age of 60. And I don't have any, shall we say, digestive issues? I like them because I know the best thing to do with them. You want to treat them like a dead British Naval Hero (Nelson?): you want to preserve them in liquor.

So here is my recipe and a guarantee that it is the tastiest thing you can do with prunes. Brew a pot of tea. While it is steeping, take a one kilo bag of Agen prunes (with the stones) and prick each one with a pin (or a fork if your kitchen does not run to sewing tools). Put them in a bowl and pour the tea over them. Let them sit anywhere from four hours to overnight. Drain the prunes. Put them in clean big jars and cover them with Armagnac. You could use brandy, but Armagnac is best. You can add a spoonful or two of sugar if you like to speed up the sweetening process, but I don't bother.

Put them in a dark cupboard for a couple of weeks. And then serve a couple in a pretty glass. You can pour them over a ball of vanilla ice cream. Or you can just eat them in their lovely alcoholic juice. They are heavenly. If you've ever tasted slivovitz, they are similar, but much, much nicer. Smoother and less syrupy. Less prone to give you one of those nine-in-the-morning-and-I-want-to-die hangovers.

And if you give a jar to your uncle (who IS over 60 and loves prunes and alcohol) for Christmas, he will love you forever. He might have done anyway, but this will clinch it.

(Barrett's tart looks pretty good too though, I have to admit...)

Posted by Meg in Sussex at October 28, 2005 2:59 AM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

What does the tea do? Is it for flavor or do the tannins cure the prune somehow? Sounds tasty to me, in any case.

Posted by barrett on October 28, 2005 at 9:49 AM

The explanation I had was tht by hydrating the prunes with tea first they didn't turn into little pure alcohol bombs. The tea flavour isn't all that apparent in the flavor, so I'm not sure that is part of it. But I wonder if the tannin helps break down the sugars in the prunes a bit too?

All theories, no answers I'm afraid!

Posted by Meg in Paris on October 28, 2005 at 1:18 PM

Hey Meg, when you do visit Chicago again, there's slivovitz in the German deli in Lincoln square. It's the only place I've ever seen it.

Posted by barrett on October 28, 2005 at 2:25 PM

Actually, I can get it here too but don't often bother. As i mentioned in the post, after a night of drinking (which is sadlly when it usually sounds like a good idea!) it's a guarantee for a bad morning after!

Posted by Meg in Paris on October 30, 2005 at 12:57 PM

Great idea, thank you !

Posted by Cindy on October 30, 2005 at 2:57 PM
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