This section is from the book "Mrs. Rorer's Diet For The Sick", by Sarah Tyson Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Mrs. Rorer's Diet For The Sick.
A small blue plum, long and narrow, known as the prune plum, is dried and sold in almost every market of the world. We have many varieties of prunes, some excellent, some good, and many inferior. The California large dried prune is, as a rule, very good. Dehydrated prunes retain their flavor to a marked degree, and are decidedly better than prunes dried by the ordinary methods; in fact, dehydrated fruits, as a rule, retain all the flavor of the fresh fruits.
Prunes contain a large percentage of sugar, and when eaten alone are easy of digestion and laxative. They should be soaked over night, and should not be cooked with sugar.
Do not eat stewed prunes for breakfast, and at the same meal drink coffee. I do not know of anything that will more quickly provoke indigestion and sour stomach. Cereals and prunes make a good combination, but do not wash them down with coffee.
Wash a pound of prunes through several cold waters; cover them with a half pint of cold water and soak over night. Next morning bring them to boiling point, lift the prunes with a skimmer, add a bay leaf to the juice and boil it down one half; pour it over the prunes, and stand aside to cool.
Wash the prunes through several cold waters, cover them with cold water and let them stand over night; next morning drain, and they are ready to use. These are better for constipation than stewed prunes.
Serve six puffed prunes on the top of hot boiled rice. Use cream if admissible.
Press puffed prunes through a sieve sufficiently fine to reject all the skin; serve this pulp in a glass saucer with a little thick cream.
Press six puffed prunes through a sieve, fold into them the well-beaten white of an egg; put this into an individual baking dish or a custard cup, dust thickly with powdered sugar, bake in a quick oven five minutes, and serve at once.
Wash the prunes through several cold waters. To each pound allow one pint of fresh cold water. Put them in a casserole mold, pour over the water, cover and let them stand all night. Next morning put them in a slow oven and bake for at least one hour.
Press six stewed prunes through a fine sieve. Cover one teaspoonful of gelatin with two tablespoonfuls of cold water to soak for a half hour, then add two tablespoonfuls of hot water, stir until the gelatin is dissolved, add the prunes, stir until well mixed, turn into a small fancy mold and stand away to harden. Serve with plain cream.
Skin and stone four stewed prunes, press the flesh through a fine sieve, fold in six tablespoonfuls of whipped cream, heap it in a small glass stem dish, make a tiny hole in the center and put in one tablespoonful of orange juice; serve at once.
Press six stewed prunes through a sieve; heap the pulp into an individual glass dish, cover it thickly with toasted bread crumbs, garnish the dish with whipped cream, and use-it at once. This is better cold than hot.
Prunelles are the light Italian plum sold in our markets in great dried masses like dates. While they are exceedingly palatable and may be eaten by the well, they are not used as diet for the sick.