Les prunes


Let me introduce a new category. The market.

A collection of random thoughts – and perhaps, recipes – about my favourite fruits and vegs from the market.

Last week, I picked up some English plums from Waitrose. Yes, the bag simply said English plums. And I guess – just like all flings – it’s always right not to ask too many questions.

All I know is that they were as pink as the sky is grey. The colour of blushing cheeks and lips bitten just so.

As I made my way through the bottom of the bag, on the very same day, it made me think about that theory my best-friend Anna-Sarah came up with years ago.

The theory of pips and stones.

According to which people can be sorted into two categories. Pip-fruit lovers and stone-fruit fanatics.
I’m certainly the latter, with raspberries as the only exception. Because, yes, you’re allowed an exception.

So do you think you are a pip or a stone?

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As a reminder for myself, the English-French translation for my very favourite plum varieties.

Reine-Claude = greengage.
Mirabelle = mirabelle.
Quetsche = damson.

And while I’m at it, did you know plums is prunes in French. And prunes is pruneaux.

A few ideas for desserts…

Poached plum with horchata ice-cream and plum gel.
Tonka bean cheesecake, candied plum skins, plum granita and sorbet.
Plum and rose consommé with tapioca and sacristain, basil foam.
Warm white chocolate fondant, roasted olive-oil plum, plum curd, candied black olives.
Iced yoghurt with mead-poached plums, rapeseed crumbs, and nougat honeycomb.

What are your favourite flavour combinations for plum?

In French, we say pour des prunes [literally, for plums] when we mean for nothing.

This saying seemingly dates back from the crusade times, when the crusaders came back from Damascus with for only victory the memories of the beautiful plum trees they ate from over there.
To which the king answered: ‘What? Don’t tell me you went to Damascus only for plums.”.

And for the record, if you hear pour du beurre, it means just the same.

I can’t take my eyes off Tara’s beautiful bounty. I think you might like it.

And her recipe for brown butter plum cobbler too!

13 thoughts on “Les prunes

  • Margherita@lechatdesucre.com August 27, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    They ALL sound amazing…but if I had to choose…roasted olive oil plum and plum curd. With white chocolate fondant. Dying to try it! Dying to know! Please do share!!!

  • Margherita@lechatdesucre.com August 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    and by the way, I am a stone :-)

  • A. August 28, 2011 at 6:47 am

    it’s nothing outof the ordinary but plums and honey is a favourite of mine.

  • Joy August 28, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Stone person all the way. You illustrations are gorgeous. Is it possible for your to reveal how you made them?

  • Lucia August 28, 2011 at 9:10 am

    And the crusaders answered back to the king: “Yes, we went there only for plums. And it was worth it” ;-)

  • Lucia August 28, 2011 at 9:11 am

    P.S. Love the idea of telling things about English and French language. Go on like this

    Great! It was fun writing… And I must admit I always forget that damsons are quetsches. So at least, now, I have it written down somewhere.

  • Emma August 28, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I’m sorry but I can’t choose. I just love all those fruits!

    Those desserts sound divine :)

  • Vivienne August 28, 2011 at 11:53 am

    im a stones person too…with exceptions as well of course ;) i love a plum buttermilk cake…and plum crumbles…hmmmm.
    did u draw these images above?! they look awesome!! what did you draw that with?
    btw, i love making bread using tangzhong too…they make for super fluffy light bread :D hope u had a great wkend!

    Hi Vivienne, I definitely need to try a plum buttermilk cake. It sounds delicious.

    As for the images, I drew them in adobe illustrator. Happy you like them ;)

  • anna-sarah August 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    pépins bien sur…
    j’aime beaucoup cette nouvelle rubrique

  • peter August 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    … prunes/plums & peaches for sure!
    however I do have a few exceptions to list:
    a good crisp apple is ALWAYS my true first love, pears a close second and in the summer time watermelons make a tie for first place!


  • Frances August 31, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Quetsche has to be one of the sillier French words to get your tongue around.

    (But the people in my patisserie seem to think quetsches are just small plums – not as sour as damsons…)

    I vote for the yoghurt and mead, though like Winnie the Pooh, I would like to eat them all without seeming greedy!

  • Run Fast Travel Slow September 2, 2011 at 4:20 am

    I love those illustrations of plums… your blog is a fantastic collage of art and photos

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