Friday, October 22, 2010

An uncool day

What is it about prune whip? Why does it have such a bad rap? I first made it as a young bride. Never having previously heard of such a thing as prune whip, I was innocent of all its implications. I found the recipe in a sort of hippie cookbook that I liked, and not realizing how totally un-cool it was, made it and loved it. So did little Rebecca and Dennis, or so they said. It was one of my favorite desserts and a real comfort food. Years later, I was having a friend for dinner – a former WWII nurse, known far and wide, and not entirely inappropriately, as “an old battle ax.” Actually, it was inappropriately. That was the image she cultivated, but like so may old battle axes, she was a wise, kind, and loving woman whom I very much admired. But that is neither here nor there. “What are you serving” Rebecca asked shortly before her arrival. I gave her my menu, which included prune whip for dessert. “What?” she gasped. “You’re not serving prune whip?” she said with a sneer. “Prune whip is good,” I replied. “She'll like it.” “Well, maybe she will,” she added with an unflattering innuendo. When Julie arrived, Rebecca hissed, “We’re having prune whip for dessert.” “Wonderful!” Julie said. “I love prune whip. It takes me back to my youth.” I felt vindicated.

So, when Rachael invited herself to dinner and told me what the menu was to be, I was stunned to find that she wanted prune whip for dessert. It was, as usual, delicious.

Here is the recipe, in case you want to try this utterly uncool, unhip, déclassé ambrosia.

Prune Whip

1 cup prune pulp (pitted is easier)

2 egg whites

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 cup yogurt (plain unsweetened)

Cover the prunes with cold water, bring to a simmer, and cook till soft. Drain the prunes and remove the pits if you didn’t use pitted. Drink the prune water. Mash or grind the prunes. Add half the sugar and the lemon juice. Cook a few minutes more until it thickens. Let it cool. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff, and beat in the other half cup sugar. Gently fold the prunes into the egg whites. Spoon into individual serving dishes and chill it. Serve the whip with a big blob of yogurt. When eating it, try to get a bit of yogurt and prune whip in each bite. The piquancy of the yogurt offsets the sweetness of the prunes, producing a wonderful taste treat.


Laura said...

Uncool - prunes are just stuck with that reputation. Your picture looks very cool and tasty though.

Marta said...

Recipe sounds delicious. My mother loved prune whip.
I may try the recipe after I figure out the carbohydrates.