To fix prune whip, first you puree fruit


V.C. Bailey of Columbia wrote briefly that she wanted a recipe for prune whip and hoped someone could provide it.

Jane Vernarelli of Baltimore responded with a note. "My mother made this years ago for our family. I do not have her recipe but found one in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook which is similar. However, my mother served it chilled with a custard-sauce topping."

Prune Whip

Serves 4

1 cup pureed, dried prunes

1/4 cup sugar, plus more if needed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine prune puree and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and salt.

Taste, adding more sugar if necessary. Let cool until lukewarm. Beat whites until stiff but not dry. Whisk a third of the whites into the puree mixture and then fold the mixture gently into the remaining whites.

Spoon into a 1-quart souffle dish. Set dish in a pan of hot water and bake for about 45 minutes or until firm to the touch. Serve warm.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "The trickiest thing about this recipe is the pureed prunes. You cannot buy prunes pureed already, so you have to do it yourself. Place about 1/4 cup of water and 1 1/3 cups of whole prunes in a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes.

"Remove from heat and cool slightly. Cut each prune in half, remove the pit, and toss the two halves into the bowl of a food processor. When all of the prunes have been pitted, pulse to blend, adding just enough of the liquid from the saucepan to make the puree smooth. Scoop the puree out and proceed with the prune-whip recipe.

"There are many recipes for prune whip, half of them an uncooked mixture of whipped cream and pureed prunes, and half of them a cooked souffle such as this. This version is sophisticated and rich. To really make the fans wild, add a tablespoon of Armagnac to the prune puree."

Recipe requests

Helen Spencer of Jefferson, Ore., is requesting a recipe for an Italian cookie that, she says, "I believe is called a scardilla. My daughter wants to make it for a friend who loves the cookies. They are cookies that are boiled then baked and then dipped in honey. Do you suppose someone out there would have this cookie?"

Shirley Ann Bechtel of Trenton, N.J., wants a fudge recipe. She says: "During the Eisenhower years, a fudge recipe of Mamie Eisenhower was published in the Harrisburg newspaper. During the next 40 years I enjoyed making this fudge at Thanksgiving, which - in my place - lasted until New Year's. After many moves to different states, I lost this and many others. Would any fudge lover have this lost treasure?"

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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