Stewed prunes and oranges

No, no, these are plums, not prunes, I swear ... Squishy, soft, sweet-as-all-get-out plums prunes, spiked with once-tangy-and-now-mellow orange slices. Heaven.

No, no, these are plums, not prunes, I swear ... Behold squishy, soft, sweet-as-all-get-out plums prunes, spiked with once-tangy-and-now-mellow orange slices. Heaven.

Forget their bad rap. Forget the constipation jokes. Forget the association with the elderly. This is a knockout idea, a killer recipe. Don’t be fooled by its humorous and, dare I say, disgusting connotations. It’s all a misconception!

Well, actually some of those stories are true. And maybe that’s really a plus. But the best part about a prune is its concentrated sweetness – really. After all, a prune is just a dried plum. Would people laugh if we talked about eating raisins (dried grapes)? Dried cranberries? I didn’t think so. Therefore, eat this nutrient-rich, antioxidant-filled, splendid morsel of overall goodness. Devour it.

Better even than eating them right out of the bag, eat them after stewing them with an orange. No, these aren’t the orange essence prunes – although those are actually fabulous, just like the cherry essence prunes … betcha can’t eat just one. No, I mean eat them after they’ve been simmering them in a bubbling water bath with a thinly sliced orange, simmering until they’re skins are as ready to burst as a ripe blueberry and the insides have magically become ten times as flavorful.

When I cooked up a batch of these beauties, I had to stop myself from eating the entire saucepanful (and later suffering from it – honestly, I think five at a time are a good maximum). Two days later, I spooned some on hot oatmeal, breaking apart the prunes and orange slices into smaller bits so that I could get a little with each bite of oatmeal. Fabulous…. It’s also great on pancakes, and probably would be delicious on muffins. Maybe I should bake up some simple fruit muffins – or even cornmeal muffins – and test that out…

The idea for these was not my own, although I wish I had thought of it years ago. I read it in Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life, and I just couldn’t wait to try it – and subsequently share it. It really is that good. Try it; you’ll be an instant prune convert if you aren’t already a fan!

Stewed Prunes and Oranges

  • 9-oz package plain, pitted prunes
  • 1 small orange, thinly sliced (1/8″ will do) and de-seeded
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan, nestling the cinnamon stick in the middle. Add in just enough water to cover. Bring the mixture almost to a boil, then reduce the  heat to medium-low or lower, just enough so the water gently bubbles. It will turn syrupy after 35-45 minutes. Be patient and stir occasionally to moisten everything. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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