Make Ahead

Pickled Prunes

January 31, 2011
Author Notes

I was looking for a recipe for quick pickled onions last time I made pulled pork sandwiches, and stumbled across this article: I found the idea of pickled prunes intriguing so decided to give it a whirl. I didn't want to use bay or pickling spice so used a mix of cardamom, pink peppercorns, and coriander instead. I also added some freshly squeezed orange juice & orange blossom water to amp up the citrus notes of the orange zest and spices. I think these may be the best tasting prunes I've ever had. These taste best after a minimum of 8 hours in the fridge, and should last for 2 weeks. (NB: the whole spices will cling to the prunes, and I enjoy eating them as they are like little flavor explosions. If you are averse to this you could coarsely grind them.) - hardlikearmour —hardlikearmour

Test Kitchen Notes

Once we started to list the ways we could imagine these prunes being served, we had trouble stopping: these sweet, sour and spiced bites would be excellent with a dollop of mascarpone or over ice cream, as a salad component or with oatmeal, or as an accompaniment to cheese or roast pork. The list goes on. In just 20 short minutes, the prunes plump up and absorb the tang of the vinegar and the sweetness of the sugar, and leaving the spices whole means you get little pops of flavor as you savor the fruit. You can reduce the syrup if you like before adding the orange flower water -- we kept it as is. - A&M —The Editors

  • Makes about 3 cups
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 12 2-inch strips orange peel (pith is okay here)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • 1/2 3" stick cinnamon, broken in half
  • 1 pound pitted prunes
  • 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
In This Recipe
  1. Combine vinegar, orange peel and juice, sugar and spices in medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it's at a boil, add the prunes and decrease heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft, but not falling apart.
  2. Remove the prunes & orange peel to quart jar (or other suitable container) using a slotted spoon. If you like, return the syrup to the heat, and reduce for several minutes until fairly thick. Stir in the orange blossom water. Pour the syrup over the prunes, stir to mix well and cool to room temperature. Once cool, cover and refrigerate.

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Midge
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • mrslarkin
  • nannydeb
  • BoulderGalinTokyo
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.