Lately, I’ve been on a pickling kick and I currently have in my fridge batches of homemade pickled carrots, pickled red grapes and these lovely pickled prunes. I first discovered the joys of “quickles” years ago when I was unemployed and I discovered a book called “The Joy of Pickling” at the local library. That summer, I pickled cucumbers, green grapes, carrot sticks, green beans and red onions. The thing is that I never actually canned anything…all my pickles were either refrigerator or freezer pickles. It’s easy and the results are almost instant. It’s my kind of work!
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about pickling and almost everywhere I turn, someone is pickling red grapes (Thanks Molly for the inspiration!) So of course, I pickled some red grapes too (delicious) but I also tried my hand at the lowly prune. The prune doesn’t get much respect. It’s associated with the elderly and bodily functions most people don’t mention in polite company, but really, prunes can be quite plump, sweet and tasty. And these prunes prove it. They go well with meats, tucked into a sandwich, or picked at on a buffet table.
These pretties were served at my birthday and they were popular. People went back for seconds and thirds and they immediately stopped dissing the prune. Become a believer, give the prune its due. Oh and on a completely unrelated topic, please stop by The Food Network Canada blog and check out my post on Bandidas Taqueria here in Vancouver.
pickled prunes with orange zest
(adapted from Molly Wizenberg)
250g pitted prunes
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 large orange & 1 lemon
3 T granulated sugar
Zest of 1 orange (zest should be matchstick size)
1 bay leaf
4 green cardamom pods
4 allspice berries
5 whole cloves
1 t black peppercorns
1 t whole mustard seeds
1/4 t red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes until the liquid has reduced to a heavy syrup. Set aside to cool and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Serve cold or at room temperature.