Prunes are often joked about being used only for relief of constipation.
In 2001, plum growers in the U.S. were authorized by the government to call prunes “dried plums.” So now we see packages labeled “dried plums” rather than prunes. [reference]
FROM OLD COOKBOOKS:
Dried fruits such as raisins, dates, figs, and prunes are valuable sweets for boys and girls. It is much better to eat one of these fruits than candy. This is because the sugar is mixed with other materials and does not irritate the digestive organs as does the concentrated sugar existing in most candies. The fact that mineral materials exist along with sugar is another point in favor of the sweet fruits. All the above-mentioned fruits contain iron. Very young children are fed prune juice because of its laxative effect.
The unpopularity of prunes is unfortunate. This may be because prunes were formerly one of the cheapest fruits or because they are cooked and served in the same way too often. Desirable results can often be secured by combining prunes with tart fruits such as apricots, apples, and rhubarb.
PREPARE PRUNES ACCORDING TO THE GENERAL RULE
For each two cupfuls of prunes add about one-fourth cupful of sugar and one tablespoonful of lemon juice. The sugar may be omitted and only the lemon juice added.
Stone* two cups cooked prunes and cut into small pieces. Add the juice of one orange, a few gratings of orange rind, one-fourth cup chopped cranberries, one half cup prune juice, one half teaspoon cinnamon, two tablespoons sugar and one-fourth teaspoon paprika. Simmer twenty minutes. Serve cold as a condiment with meat.
* Stone – remove the stones or pits
To one cupful cooked prunes, seeded and chopped, add one-half cup sugar, one cup chopped nuts, one-half cup milk or prune water, one teaspoon vanilla, one tablespoon melted butter, three crackers, rolled fine, one teaspoon baking powder, and salt.
Mix all the ingredients and pour into a buttered baking-dish and place the baking-dish in a pan of hot water. Bake in a moderate oven* for 20 minutes, or until the mixture is firm. Serve hot or cold with plain or whipped cream.
* a moderate oven is about 350-400 degrees F
Wash the prunes thoroughly and then drain and turn on a cloth to dry. Remove the stones and fill the centers with a mixture of chopped nuts and ginger. Roll in granulated sugar. Prunes may be filled with fondant or fudge.
Prepare the prunes as for stuffing and then place one-half cup of cottage cheese in a bowl and add one green pepper chopped fine, one-half teaspoon of salt, and one-half teaspoon of paprika. Blend thoroughly and then fill into the pitted prunes. Now arrange the stuffed prunes upon crisp lettuce leaves and sprinkle with lemon juice. Serve with either paprika or mayonnaise dressing. This is very nice for luncheon or supper served as a salad.
PRUNE AND NUT JELLY
Soak three level tablespoons of gelatine in one-half cup of cold water for one-half hour. Now stone sufficient prunes to measure one cup. Add one-half cup of finely chopped nuts, one-half cup of sugar, one cup of prune juice, and the juice of one lemon. Place the gelatine in a hot-water bath and strain into the prune mixture. Stir until thoroughly mixed and then pour into molds. Set aside to mold and then serve with whipped cream.
CALIFORNIA PRUNE CAKE
To one cup of sugar, add six tablespoons of shortening. Cream well until light and creamy. Then add the yolks of two eggs, one cup of water, two and three-quarters cups of flour, two level tablespoons of baking powder, and one level tablespoon of mace.
Beat to thoroughly blend and fold in the stiffly beaten whites of the two eggs. Now line a cake pan with greased paper and pour in a layer of the cake batter. Spread evenly. Next spread a layer of finely chopped nuts and then a layer of well-drained and cooked prunes that have been chopped fine. Cover with a layer of the cake batter and then repeat this until the pan, is three-quarters full. Dust the top of the cake lightly with sugar. Place in a moderate oven and bake for one hour.
Cool, and make icing from three-quarters cup of XXXX sugar,* one tablespoon of lemon juice, and sufficient boiling water to moisten. Then spread on the cake.
* XXXX sugar – super fine sugar