Saturday, March 6, 2010

Stewed Dried Plums in Marsala

This slow-cooked dessert is made entirely ahead of time, which always makes entertaining easier!

First, make the 'Yogurt Cream' that gets dolloped on top as a garnish. Line a colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth, and place the colander in a large bowl. Spoon 16-ounces of plain soy yogurt into the colander, loosely cover with plastic wrap,and refrigerate for 12 hours. You'll definitely want to use an unsweetened variety, such as Wildwood.

I still am unclear if this method works with soy yogurt as it does with cow's milk yogurt, since I never see any liquid drain away. Still, I always go through the step anyway, just in case! Oddly enough, I am somehow left with 1 cup of soy yogurt, not 2 cups, but I can't fathom where it goes... Perhaps it just seeps into the cheesecloth?

The physics of it aside, spoon the resulting 1 cup of plain soy yogurt into a bowl. Stir in 1/3 cup packed organic brown sugar, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the dried plum mixture, start by carefully peeling the rind from 1 orange and 1 lemon with a vegetable peeler, avoiding the white pithy part. It's okay if your rind comes off in a few strips, rather than one artful long strip. The original recipe said to discard the orange and lemon themselves once peeled, but this seemed such a waste! Have the orange for a snack and cut up the lemon slices for water - just be sure to use them soon, since once citrus doesn't have its rind, it won't keep long, even in the fridge.

Place the orange and lemon rinds in a slow cooker, along with 3 cups pitted dried plums (i.e. pitted prunes, but "dried plums" sounds so much nicer), 2 cups orange juice, 1 cup Marsala wine, and 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick.

Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours. By the end, the dried plums will have plumped up from absorbing much of the liquid, and be nicely tender.

(Note: I was about 1/4 cup short on orange juice, so I added enough cold water to make up the difference. Second note: I haven't yet found reports on whether Marsala is filtered through vegan or un-vegan methods, but I do find a lot of other vegan websites posting recipes that use Marsala, so I work under the assumption that it fits into a vegan diet).

After 4 hours, discard the rinds and the cinnamon stick, and transfer the rest of the mixture to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, and up to overnight, so the dried plums can continue to marinate.

Before serving, bring the dried plum mixture back to room temperature. Serve 1/2 cup of dried plums in each of 8 dessert bowls, and top each serving with 2 tablespoons of the 'Yogurt Cream'. Each serving is 280 calories.

orange $0.48
lemon $0.79
pitted dried plums $10.78
plain soy yogurt $2.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance