Sometimes French Food Really Isn’t Fussy

Last week, I made coq au vin—the fussiest of fussy French foods. This week, I make amends to those of you who want to do French, but don’t want the fuss. Warning: You will have to consume prunes. But, I am here to allay your fears. Prunes are just wrinkly plums. Think of them as larger raisins. Everyone likes raisins, right? (If you have a fear of raisins, give prunes a try. They’re much, much better. And, no, the California Prune Board is not paying for this post.)

This recipe comes via that old lovely Cook’s Encyclopedia of 30-Minute Cooking. You will find it in the 20-Minute Desserts section. See? I told you this will be easy. Now, let us be brave and boldly turn some prunes into a dessert.

Prune and Orange Pots

Serves 4

  • 1 C prunes
  • ⅔ C fresh orange juice (yes, it really does taste better with fresh squeezed juice, but you can use a non-sweetened made-from-a-can OJ, if you must)
  • 1 C plain yogurt (full fat version is the best)
  • Orange zest for decorating

Remove any pits (or just buy them without pits). Roughly chop them. Place them in a pan and pour in the orange juice.

Bring the juice to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 5 minutes, until the prunes are tender and the liquid is reduced by half. (If you’ve made baby food before, this will seem eerily familiar.)

Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly, and then beat well with a wooden spoon, until the fruit breaks down to a rough purée.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in yogurt, swirling the yogurt and fruit together lightly with a spoon (not the big wooden one, but a small teaspoon will work), to give an attractive marbled effect. (At this point, you fill individual serving containers with the yogurt mixture.)

Blanch the shreds of orange zest in boiling water, drain, and use a few shreds to decorate. (I have never blanched the zest. I just do a bit on top.) Serve at once or chill if time permits. (I always chill. Who wants to eat room temperature yogurt?)

Results

Pretty freaking easy, right? At this point, you are probably asking what makes this particularly French. French cuisine is full of prunes, whipped dairy, and whipped dairy with prunes. They are not afraid of prunes because in Europe prunes are eaten by many people… not just the elderly looking for some bowel relief.

And, just to prove my point: Mr. Moo loves these little prune pots. And, he’s not very old at all. He eats this for breakfast. (A dessert for breakfast! Woo hoo!!) Just try it. It’s easy and I swear you’ll love it.

Mr Moo with Spoon

Tell me that's not a man with a love for prune pots!

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