Prunes, or dried plums, can be used to make a wide range of dishes, from baked goods, sauces, and marinades to snacks, toppings, and frozen treats. They may be used whole, in pieces, or pureed for baked goods, and cooked or soaked to make a sauce. Their sweet flavor and density make them a simple add-in for snack bars or trail mixes as well as yogurts, shakes, and beverages, among other things.
Dried plums may be used in a variety of baked goods. Muffins, quick breads, and dense cakes may have them mixed into the batter before being put into the oven. They may be used in lieu of fresh fruit for the bottom layer of a crumble or cobbler as well. If soaked and blended into paste form, they may be used to cut the sugar or butter in certain recipes. This spread may also be found in creamy pastry and pie fillings.
The strong flavor from dried plums makes them appropriate ingredients for various sauces, marinades, and glazes. They may be pureed and mixed with oil, vinegar, and herbs to create a dressing, or they may be reduced with a small amount of sugar, cloves, and cinnamon, as well as nutmeg for a ham glaze. The fruits must typically be pureed, soaked, or cut to release their flavor in these types of dishes.
Their density and texture make dried plums an option for a variety of snack foods. They may be added to granola bars along with whole grains, nuts, and honey, or stirred into trail mix or muesli. Dried plums are typically used fresh in these types of dishes rather than being cooked or pureed beforehand.
Aside from being eaten alone, dried plums are perhaps most often used as toppings to sweeten or add fruity flavor to a dish. They can be sprinkled on salads, cold cereals, and oatmeal. Savory dishes like risotto or pizza can be given a subtle sweetness by sprinkling bits on top before serving as well.
While fresh fruit is more commonly used for cold treats and beverages, dried plums can be blended into yogurt, ice cream, and shakes. Often, the plums must be cooked for several minutes or soaked for an hour or more. After this preparation, they can be blended into a thick juice or used as a base for pudding.