Prunes used to be the laughing stock of fruit. Really. Kids used to snicker at the thought of them because, you know, prunes are supposed to be for old folks who, um, need the fiber.
Well, confession here — I always loved prunes. Plump, moist, sweet prunes. Great snack. And when I was much younger I ate Dannon’s Prune Yogurt at least twice a week. It was made with whole milk and had a thick, pureed, stewed prune layer at the bottom.
But I think I was only one of two people who loved that yogurt (the other was my husband Ed, which is probably why we knew we were going to click romantically from the start). Because Dannon stopped making that flavor yogurt long ago.
Yeah yeah, there are some new prune yogurts out there but they’re not the old full-fat, thick-as-lekvar prune layer yogurt I remember. The only way to get that is to add some prune lekvar to some yogurt (or stew some prunes and puree them yourself).
But some good news has come for people like me who actually like prunes and don’t think they are funny at all. And who eat prunes because we like them and not because we, um, need them.
Here’s an article that speaks to the benefits of prunes. A great snack, it says because prunes are filling, sweet and satisfying and they are also high in antioxidants as well as fiber.
Give some prunes to your kids and see how they react. Don’t tell them prunes are for senior citizens. Snacks this sweet are sure to please children and their parents too.
And if you want to try prunes in recipes, start with this old fashioned dessert. It’s a winner in all respects. Great warm with a little ice cream (but plain is terrific too).
Prune and Apricot Crumb Pie
3 cups mixed dried pitted prunes and dried California apricots
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the prunes and apricots in a saucepan. Cover the fruit completely with water and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer the fruit for about 10 minutes or until the fruit is softened. Drain the fruit but reserve the liquid (should be about 1/2 cup; add more if necessary to make 1/2 cup liquid). In a saucepan mix the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the 1/2 cup reserved liquid. Stir ingredients and cook over low-medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Add the cooked fruit, lemon juice and butter. Stir ingredients until the butter has melted. Spoon the fruit mixture into the pie crust. Scatter the crumb crust on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Makes one pie serving 8 people
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
Mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Work the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture is crumbly.