Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Purple Prune Whip

Prune Whip, anyone? I thought if I used the recipe for Baked Prune Whip from my first vintage cookbook - Square Meals by Jan and Michael Stern (a modern cookbook about vintage cookbooks, the one that got me started), I'd be safe. My Mom found steamed prunes in syrup at the store, and I chopped them and baked them according to the recipe. When I was finished, it was white with brown chunks, so I dyed it purple. The next day, it was deflated, and a few folks from my family said it tasted pretty good, except for the odd chunks of prunes here and there. Perhaps it should have been strained? I don't know - and I'm not making this one again. It was odd enough to be dealing with pitting them, chopping that sticky mess, and the color...

From Square Meals:  "Baked Prune Whip is an old-fashioned American dessert that appears in every pre-1950's cookbook (no kidding), but has nearly vanished since then.  It is souffle-light, and as James Beard says in American Cookery, 'nostalgic to a point.'"
Ok. Nostalgic, but not in modern recipes. A memory food, but perhaps not one that lives up to that memory for today's eaters.

1 1/3 cups pitted prunes
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon jujice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350F. Simmer prunes in water for 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until prunes are soft.  Drain, chop prunes very fine, and combine in saucepan with sugar. (Since I bought steamed, I drained the jar, pitted them, and chopped them.) Heat until sugar dissolves.  Add lemon juice and vanilla.  Beat egg whites until frothy, add cream of tartar, and beat until stiff.  Fold prunes as gently and quickly as possible into egg whites. Pour into buttered and sugared 2-quart baking dish.  Bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately with heavy cream, or let prune whip deflate, refrigerate, and serve cold with whipped cream. Serves 4.

We served it deflated, and I don't think whipped cream would have helped...

1 comment:

Molly said...

Yeah, okay, Prune Whip as you've made it is pretty much ugh. You win. Blech. But in the rosy past of my youth, I remember it without chunks or the meringuey goo you've got going on there. Wish I had that good old recipe. Sigh. I'm sure you'd find it oh so scrumptious. (snicker snicker)