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Prune plums dull? Not when you cook them.

Prune plums dull? Not when you cook them

Served raw, prune plums seem plain and mild-mannered compared to some of their less sweet, red-skinned cousins. But when prune plums are cooked, their dull purple skins turn ruby red and their flavor switches to tart and lively.

Simmer plums with orange for a simple jam that jells from its natural pectin. Bake the plums with chicken as it roasts for a flavorful accompaniment, then blend the pan juices with port for a delicious sauce. For dessert, poach the plums and serve them on whipped cream in a cream puff pastry shell.

Prune Plum Orange Jam

Cut about 3 pounds prune plums in half; remove and discard pits. Cut halves in half to make 2 quarts of quartered fruit. With a vegetable peeler, cut thin outer peel from 1 large orange. Cut enough of the orange peel in thin strands to make 2 tablespoons. Ream juice from 1 or 2 oranges to make 2/3 cup.

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine plums, orange peel, orange juice, and 2 1/2 cups sugar. Simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 45 minutes (to check thickness, place a tablespoon of the jam on a chilled plate; boil longer if you want it thicker).

Pour into 3 hot sterilized 1-pint canning jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of rim. Wipe rim clean. Place hot sterilized lid and band on jar. Place jars on a rack in a canning or other deep kettle. Add boiling water to cover jars. Cover kettle, bring water to simmering, and hold for 10 minutes. Remove jars from water; cool on a towel. To test seal, press center of lid. If it stays down, seal is good. If it pops up, store in refrigerator. Makes 3 pints.

Roast Chicken with Prune Plums

1 broiler-fryer chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds

12 large firm-ripe prune plums, halved and pitted

1/2 cup port or apple juice

1/2 cup regular-strength chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/3 cup butter or margarine

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Set chicken, breast up, on a rack in a 10- by 15-inch roasting pan. Roast chicken in a 375| oven for 50 minutes. Add plums to pan, turning fruit in drippings. Continue cooking, turning plums once, until fruit is hot and slightly soft when pierced and chicken leg moves easily when wiggled, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Lift out chicken, drain juices, and set on a serving platter. Set plums around chicken. Skim fat from pan drippings; discard fat. Add port, broth, and ginger to pan. Place over medium heat and scrape free browned particles. Boil on high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup. Reduce heat to low. Add butter and stir constantly to blend. Offer sauce to spoon over chicken and plums. Makes 4 servings.

Prune Plum Puff

Water

5 tablespoons butter or margarine

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 eggs

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

12 large firm-ripe prune plums, halved and pitted

1 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur or 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/2 cup sour cream

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine 2/3 cup water and butter. Quickly bring to a boil, stirring to melt butter. Add flour all at once and stir vigorously until dough pulls from pan sides; remove from heat. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until mixture is smooth and glossy. Spoon into a greased 9-inch cheesecake pan with a removable bottom. Spread over pan bottom and about 2 inches up pan sides.

Bake crust in a 400| oven for 40 minutes or until puffered and brown. Turn off oven. Pierce crust with a wooden pick in 10 to 12 places and leave in closed oven for about 10 minutes to dry. Then remove pan from oven and let cool completely. Remove pan sides. (If made a day ahead, cover loosely with foil and store at room temperature. Before serving, recrisp pastry, uncovered, in a 400| oven for 10 minutes, then let cool.)

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, combine granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and nutmeg. Set plums cut side down in pan. Simmer, covered, over low heat until plums are hot and tender when pierced, 5 to 8 minutes. Cool, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes or as long as 4 hours.

Beat whipping cream until stiff. Stir powered sugar and orange liqueur into sour cream; fold mixture into whipped cream until blended. Use, or cover and chill up to 4 hours.

Spoon cream mixture into cool crust. Place plum halves on top and drizzle any excess syrup over top. Cut into wedges. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Photo: Baked alongside chicken, purple prune plums turn red. Serve the fruit-flavored pan juices with the bird

Photo: Oval, yellow-fleshed prune plums and fresh oranges are basis of tart jam

Photo: Poached prune plums float on an orange-scented whipped cream cloud in a pastry shell for dessert
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Aug 1, 1984
Words:846
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