the taste space

Cinnamon-Orange Stewed Prunes

Posted in Breakfasts, Desserts, Uncategorized by Janet M on November 16, 2013

Which food makes you giggle? An automatic response because you just don’t want to eat it.

While I have cooked and baked with prunes before, I subconsciously think of my bowels when I see prunes. I know it isn’t just me, because the folks in California have been rebranded prunes as “dried plums“. So many less connotations, while using different words.

Dried dates, apricots and cranberries get a lot of love, but prunes are rarely heralded. It wasn’t until I picked them up on a whim that I remembered how nice they taste.  They aren’t as cloyingly sweet as dates or raisins, and have a much more complex flavour: deep and robust. 

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I love to explore new breakfasts, although I rarely share them these days. I spotted this recipe for stewed prunes with citrus and cinnamon and figured it would be a great topping for my morning oatmeal.

I was drawn to this recipe for stewed prunes because there is no added sugar and the sweetness comes entirely from the prunes and orange. In fact, the sweetness is tempered by including the orange peel in the pot as everything  simmers. A dash of cinnamon permeates the succulent compote and melds seamlessly. I halved the original recipe since I didn’t have a pound of prunes. I used half a Navel orange, cut into thin slivers, which delivered a wonderful flavour. Don’t be off-put by including the entire orange, peel and all. It works. Really well.

(I’ve done something similar before, years ago when I made Nigella’s Clementine Cake in which you boil 5 whole clementines (peel and all) for two hours until meltingly soft, add half a dozen eggs, sugar, ground almonds with a dash of baking powder before you throw it into the oven. The cake is oh so moist, not super sweet, but wonderful. Gluten-free baking at its finest, although obviously not vegan.)

Just as Molly suggests, the silky prunes develop a complex flavour throughout its hour-long simmer. Overnight, in the fridge, the flavours meld further. It was a delicious topping for my morning oatmeal and could easily top some yogurt or ice cream, if you are into that, for a delicious dessert. Warm and cold, I loved it both ways.

Other prune recipes that have caught my eye:

Tagine of Yam, Carrot and Prune from Moroccan Food and Cooking
Butter Bean, Prune and Tomato Tagine from Sanitarium
Georgian Red Beans in Sour Prune Sauce in Olive Trees and Honey
Spinach and Prunes with Beans in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food
Prunes Stuffed with Walnuts in Orange Juice in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food
Quinoa Tagine with Chickpeas, Olives and Prunes
(Quinoa and Chickpea Marbella) at Diet Dessert n Dogs
Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew in A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen (recipe here)
Masala Chai Poached Prunes at In Praise of Sardines
Orange-Scented Hazelnut Prune Truffles at Anja’s Food for Thought

What are your favourite ways to enjoy prunes dried plums?

This is my submission to this month’s Tea Time Treats with dried fruit and this month’s Credit Crunch Munch.

PS. The winners of Plant Powered 15 are Johanna and Kari.

Cinnamon-Orange Stewed Prunes
Adapted from Orangette (the recipe can also be found in A Homemade Life)

1/2 Navel orange (150g), or 1 tangerine, or consider including 1/2 lemon – preferably organic and seedless
1/2 pound pitted prunes
1 cinnamon stick

1. Cut the citrus fruit in half vertically, and then slice it thinly, peel and all. Place the slices in a medium saucepan with the prunes and the cinnamon stick, and add water to cover. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, and cook over medium-low heat for about 30-45 minutes, until the prunes are quite tender, the citrus slices are soft and glassy, and the liquid in the pan is thick and brown (caramelly). Remove the cinnamon stick and serve, or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Serves 4-5.

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12 Responses

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  1. coconutandberries said, on November 16, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    We are definitely on the same page today! I feel bad for prunes as they really are wonderful, I like to snack on them as they are :) I’ve been making something very similar to this for years and love it on top of my morning porridge. I usually leave the prunes whole and just let them get really soft without turning into a compote.

  2. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts said, on November 17, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Prunes make me giggle a bit too :) But, this recipe goes a long way to helping them redeem a decent reputation!

  3. Deena Kakaya (@Deenakakaya) said, on November 17, 2013 at 4:47 AM

    What lovely colours and prunes are so great for the digestive system. A lovely and sweet start to the day. X

  4. Johanna GGG said, on November 17, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    I can say prunes with a straight face but stewed prunes really does seem like the sort of food old folk eat to keep them regular :-) In fact I love prunes but have rarely had them stewed – either way they are lovely and with orange they seem perfect for breakfast

  5. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on November 17, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    This reminds me of a fig compote they served on top of oatmeal at my favourite veg restaurant in Dublin. Looks like the perfect topping for winter :)

  6. Joanne said, on November 17, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    I really like prunes but am admittedly more apt to eat them when they are listed in a recipe as dried plums. It’s definitely a mental thing! I could see this being such a lovely breakfast treat!

  7. Jan-Marie said, on November 17, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    This looks fabulous!

  8. karen278 said, on November 18, 2013 at 4:51 AM

    I LOVE prunes and I love poached prunes with fruit juice, and the spices just adds that extra special festive flavour! Lovely recipe Janet! Karen

  9. Sarah, Maison Cupcake said, on November 18, 2013 at 6:41 AM

    Looks like a very healthy breakfast, thanks for entering CCM!

  10. veganmiam.com said, on November 18, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Not a huge fan of stewed prunes, but love eating prunes on its own. However, I can imagine trying them with something citrus & spices. Yummy garnish and I agree – it reminds me of a fig compote. Thanks for sharing!

  11. November Tea Time Treats Round-Up said, on November 30, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    […] 20. Stewed Prunes with Orange and Cinnamon by Janet of The Taste Space: A FABULOUS tea time treat for prunes again, and a recipe that would make a great breakfast compote for Christmas day morning. Janet adds spices and orange to her prunes for that festive kick! […]

  12. […] Healthy breakfast Stewed prunes with orange and cinnamon by Taste Space […]


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