We used to simply call this dish Stewed Prunes, and whilst this recipe cuts back on the sugar and adds more heavenly scented spices, essentially it is a homely blend of stewed prunes, great for the constitution and promoting regularity, if you know what I mean. Cook this very easy combination of ingredients, and you will have a week's worth of delicious dessert at your fingertips, which just keep improving in flavour. It is also delicious served on your morning porridge, especially for those now experiencing cooler weather in the Northern Hemisphere.
As I cook this, I just love the beautifully rich and spicy aromas in the kitchen reminding me of baking Christmas cakes and Plum Puddings. Which reminds me, Christmas is just around the corner, so Christmas cakes should be next week's job.
500g prunes, pitted or unpitted
1 vanilla bean, sliced in half lengthwise or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 strips of lemon zest
1 tablespoon Port (optional)
2 teaspoons Date Syrup (or substitute Maple Syrup or a mild honey)
Add the prunes to a large saucepan and cover well with water. Combine all the other ingredients and add to the saucepan. Simmer for 30-35 minutes, ensuring that a gentle simmer is maintained so that the prunes don't boil dry. The prunes should be plump and luscious when they are cooked. I think they plump up more when they are unpitted. With that though comes a warning to everyone to remove the seeds as they eat them, and of course they should be removed before being given to children.
The flavours of this dish will develop even more over the next few days, if left in a covered container in the refrigerator. Extra honey or maple syrup can be added if you like it sweeter.
Serve with boiled custard, yoghurt, ice cream or whatever you fancy.
Bye for now,