The World’s Most Unsexiest Recipe? Yes. Stewed Prunes.

by Matt on May 12, 2009


I remember reading her words like it was yesterday. Molly once said that prunes were among the few foods with their own built-in laugh track. And gosh darnit, she’s right. I still giggle when I think about them, even when people were saying they were delicious and I should try them. And you know exactly what this boy is talking about, quit trying to be coy and pretend you don’t know.  We’re friends here.

Luckily I can now tell you that I no longer laugh as hard as I once did when I say the words prune and I can also tell you that I no longer put the palms of my hand to my lips and make mega-sounds.  And why? Because scattered among the yards and yards of breakfast items on the buffet table at Club Med in the Bahamas were bowls of stewed prunes. Looking around I noticed people helping themselves to the prunes without the slightest smirk or giggle. How could this happen? How come no one was laughing or joking about them?

Must be the French.

Ok, back to that unsexy headline. I suppose the you could look at stewed prunes as the choice of the Matlock set but this boy really learned to appreciate them in the Bahamas. They were silky and sweet with just the right amount of body and a touch of tartness.  They were divine on top of oatmeal or warm breakfast cereals and made for a really delightful breakfast. Since the trip I’ve enjoyed them a few times at home with a variety of spices and I must say you can’t really mess them up. Unless you soak them for too long which renders them pretty much useless; they’ll just disintegrate. And then you can continue making jokes while holding a bowl of what looks like, well, nevermind.

Stewed Prunes adapted from The Joy Of Cooking

1 lb dried prunes
1 to 1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 sliced lemon
1 stick cinnamon

Combine the water and dried prunes and bring to the boiling point.  Reduce the heat and gently simmer, about 20 minutes. Add the sugar and cook for an additional 10 minutes. At this point you can add the lemon, cinnamon, a vanilla bean, whatever you’d like.

Matt’s notes: Some recipes recommend soaking your prunes for 24 hours. I’ve had luck with that method and also a disaster. Go figure.


37414890_0e1ba87c60Tomorrow we’ll be heading back down south to the land of Quilmes, Maté and Parillas with a group of our best friends. We’ve been to Argentina several times before and I’m just as excited to return as I was during our first visit. Buenos Aires is definitely a favorite place of mine.  I’ll do my best to update between working and playing (I have a little assignment)  but you can always follow me on Twitter.  I hope to meet a few of you when I’m there!