Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dessert...Prunes In Red Wine

With spring upon us and with longer hours of daylight I feel the return of my desire to cook on the fly and on a whim. Not that I don’t cook otherwise, but it is routine every day stuff and on some days I prefer to be a sous-chef, as *A* is the better cook and blazing fast too.

Me on the other hand, I tend to cook more slowly, need to have a glass of wine to sip as I cook, listen to the news on the radio and have a comfortable pace. So I had some time yesterday and tried my hand at a dessert that I read about in the NY Times here. The recipe with modifications is below, as are quick pictures and probably don’t do justice to how well this dish turned out. No credit to me, the recipe is the trick. A related article in the times talks about how this dessert is more a European thing and not American, well it is now ;-)

Often on a dessert table in a bistro or trattoria in Europe there will be a big
bowl of plump prunes poached in wine. It’s a dessert I love, but one that is
rarely offered in the United States. Except at my house

The dessert was delicious, *A* approved of it. I think it will taste better today as it will have chilled well and the prunes will have had more time to soak in that lovely blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, peppercorn and orange. Coupled with cream this was a delightful change as a dessert.

On the stove...



Rushed picture.. sorry, I might have a better one tonight in a wine goblet and all.



Another picture..



Time: 30 minutes plus cooling
2 cups dry red wine, preferably from Navarre. (I used a Chianti any other dry wine would do too. I used about 3/4 of the wine, the rest was consumed during cooking) ;-)
2 3-inch strips orange peel
10 black peppercorns
6 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole allspice ( I did not have all spice so I used a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg instead)
1/4 cup sugar
1 pound prunes with pits, or 12 ounces pitted prunes. (I used pitted prunes, and like Florence said in the article, the prunes feel more fleshy and nuttier)
2 tablespoons triple sec
Softly whipped heavy cream or crème fraîche, optional, for serving. (I used light whipped cream).

1. Combine wine, orange peel, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon sticks and allspice in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Stir in sugar. Simmer 10 minutes. Add prunes, simmer 10 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in triple sec.

2. Transfer to a bowl, cover and set aside up to 3 hours before serving, turning prunes in wine syrup from time to time. Strain, reserving syrup in a bowl. Return prunes to syrup and discard spices. Serve at once, with a dollop of cream if desired, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Yield: 4 servings.

21 comments:

priya said...

It looks beautiful and delicious....

ML said...

I'm not a fan of dried fruit, except for prunes. Don't know why this is an exception, but I do like them very much. This recipe looks just sublime. Thanks for the great pictures too!

I love to cook while enjoying a glass of wine. Total paradise.

perspective inc said...

Looks gooooooood!! :)

Maggie said...

This sounds so good. I've never been a fan of prunes myself but I'm thinking this might change my mind.

Mona Buonanotte said...

Ohhhh...I am in LUV with that dish! I'm drooling all over the keyboard...sorry....

meno said...

You know, i don't think i have ever tried stewed prunes. But this sounds really good and i must try it. Especially since there is red wine that needs to be finished during the process. :)

Asha said...

Sanjay,now I know why your peeps in Bharat think you have changed!;P

Go easy on the Prunes bhai.Looks great, enjoy.

Don't have anything icky like Fava beans with that Chianti(Hannibal style) and stay away from the Human brain!! HAHAHA!!!

Id it is said...

That's some dessert! But for the heavy cream, healthy too. I'll try this one over the spring break!

Lotus Reads said...

Mon Dieu, this looks delicious, you have me itching to try it, Sanjay!

Oh, btw, I stole your recipe for "Baked and Stuffed Peaches" from an earlier post...it turned out beautifully and got the kids' stamp of approval, which is saying a lot as they can be really,really fussy when it comes to dessert fruit.

Thanks for sharing the recipe,Sanjay!

Sanjay said...

@Priya.. Thanks

@ML..Thanks.

@Perspective.. Thanks for stopping by.

@Maggie.. It just might.

@Mona..thanks.

@Meno.. Yes wine adds to the fun. :)

@Asha..lol Thanks

Sanjay said...

@Lotus.... Thank you for the kind words. You must try it.

I am glad that your kids liked the baked and stuffed peaches. Credit for that one goes to *A*.

Perhaps your kids might like this dessert too? It only takes about 30 minutes. :-)

Sai said...

THis looks delicious and BTW Chianti is my fav wine as well.

I have tried this with peach in India years ago.

deepsat said...

yummm!!!!!!

;-))

Shitrint said...

that looks really delicious sanjay! yay! culinary days are back again on this blog! :D

right now ive got holidays and me and my sis are experimenting with diff dishes too. except that she does most of the cooking while i "approve". LOL!
take care!

Aditi said...

yumm

kavips said...

I am going to try it with apricots.

Donviti said...

just hand me the Chianti....

Interrobang said...

Hmm, do you suppose that might work without the Triple Sec? I don't know if it's possible to get airplane bottles of Triple Sec, and I'd be loath to buy an entire bottle of it for the sake of trying one recipe. I don't think I'd ever drink it all. My alcohol consumption is generally nearly nil, although I have been going through white wine at a goodly pace lately -- mm, shrimps tossed in a mixture of dairy-free margarine, olive oil, lots and lots of garlic, parsley, and white wine...

Contrastively, what does Triple Sec taste like? Anything I could use that would taste similar but that I'd be more likely to drink?

Anali said...

Oh yum! That looks good and I imagine it must smell incredible. Nice pictures too!

What a nice surprise! I guess I never know what I might find here on your blog. : )

Orchid said...

Alright Sanjay!!now all I need is an invitation :)

Carrie said...

Sounds devine!