Friday, 7 March 2008

Belarussian baked milk with plums

Polish: suszona śliwka
Welsh: prŵn
Breton: prunevenn
Spanish: ciruela pasa
German: Trockenpflaume
French: pruneau
Turkish: kuru erik
Russian: чернослив
Arabic: برقوق مجفف
Hungarian: aszalt szilva

Besides the digestive value, Moroccans add prunes to tagine, Jews to tzimmes, Norwegians to fruktsuppe, Poles to Christmas compote, Icelanders to the filling of Christams layered cake, Germans fill them with marzipan and fry in beer batter, and so on. There are so many ways of preparing prunes, in both sweet and savoury dishes. In Belarus (and probably Russia too, but I found чернослив в молоке recipe in an old Belarussian cookbook so it is Belarussian to me) prunes are baked in milk. This recipe is exceptional: very simple but astonishing and really tasty.

50 gr prunes (without stones)
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Wash prunes, put in a bowl and pour boiling milk over them. Cover and set aside for 2 hours

2. Add sugar. You can cut prunes into smaller pieces as I did, or just leave them as they are

3. Pour the mixture into a pyrex tray and bake in the oven (200C) until the surface is golden and crunchy. I can't say exactly how long does it take cause it depends on your oven, but more than 1 hour for sure. When ready, cut into pieces and serve; it is not quiteeasy to cut thisdessert into lovely pieces but that doesn't matter. there will be a lot of sweet prune juice in the tray: pour it on each portion. You can experiment with quantity of prunes, milk and sugar and change a bit the taste and consistency, which reminds me all the milk-and-eggs desserts baked in the tray which is set inside another tray, full of water, like flan and leche asada.

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