Tips and tricks
in the kitchen

Choosing your prunes

Traditionally, Agen prunes are sold either whole or pitted according to their grade (their size). This grade is defined by two figures which correspond to the minimum and maximum number of prunes which make up a 500g pack. In this way, a 33/44 grade means that the bag will contain between 33 or 44 prunes per 500g. A 66/77 grade contains between 66 and 77 prunes per 500g. This means that the larger the number, the smaller the prunes, as more prunes can fit into a 500g pack. Various adjectives (Giant, Very Large, Large, etc.) are also used to help distinguish between the different grades and help the consumer choose the right prune for their needs. Now you know how to choose, we hope you’ll enjoy eating your prunes.
We hope that the following table will also help you find your way around and choose the perfect prune for you. Bon appétit!

Grade (number of fruit per 500g) Other retail name Use
May be labelled “Pruneaux d’Agen” provided they meet the conditions set by the IGP specifications. 28/30 Bite-size prunes, Stuffed prunes, Prunes in brandy
33/44 Giant
44/55 Very large
55/66 Large Fillings, compotes, juice Zum Garnieren, als Kompott, Saft
66/77 Medium
May not be labelled “Pruneaux d'Agen” 77/88 Small
The various prune specialties available to you

Agen prunes are perfect little treats to enjoy on their own, and can be enjoyed all year round. Compact, easy to transport, natural, energy-rich and delicious, they are the ideal snack, always there when you need something to take the edge off (in the office, at school, during sport or leisure activities, etc.). And it’s also a great ingredient to use in the kitchen. It’s perfect for any kind of dish, whether traditional or regional, sweet or savoury, and works wonders when you want to balance a healthy diet with pleasure for your taste buds.

You can find all kinds of prune-based products in your local supermarket. Use these to enhance your culinary creations. So, according to the recipe you’re going to make, you might want to take a look at :

Prune creams, marmalades and pastes.
These are normally made from smaller prunes. They are ideal if you want to make desserts, sauces, cakes, dairy-based dishes, or just to spread on toast at breakfast time or as a snack. You can even use them to stuff larger, pitted Agen prunes. (see How to pit a prune without splitting the flesh).
Prune compote :
Made from small prunes, these are the perfect partner for curd cheese, rice or semolina pudding. If you want to gild the lily, you can even add some cinnamon or vanilla.
Prunes in syrup :
These are rehydrated prunes which are then packed into tins or jars with their syrup. They work wonders in desserts or for breakfast.
In Alkohol eingelegte Pruneaux (Wein, Schnaps, Armagnac)
Prunes in brandy (wine, brandy, Armagnac): These prunes have been left to macerate in alcohol. They’re great as an after-dinner treat, or with a cup of coffee.
Prune juice :
This is widely used as part of a healthy diet or during sport. Prunes as part of a sports-focused diet
Prune kernel oil :
Prune kernel oil is made by cold-pressing the stones inside prunes. It has an exceptional aroma.
How do I store my prunes once I’ve opened them ?

Prunes are available all year round and are very robust. They’re extremely easy to store and can be kept almost indefinitely in their original packaging at room temperature before opening them. Once opened, you can store them for a few days in an air-tight box in the salad drawer of your fridge to keep them moist. In fact, if you keep them somewhere dry, they’ll tend to dry out. Don’t despair if this does happen, though: you can regain their lovely soft texture by dropping them in simmering water for a few minutes. You can even add a little tea (Earl Grey, for example), spices, orange flower water, vanilla or any other spice extract to give your prunes a little taste of the exotic.

How can I pit my prunes without splitting the flesh ?
To stuff them, for example…

If you buy whole prunes and you want to pit them without splitting them (to stuff them, for example), cut off the top of the fruit and, using a thin, carefully cleaned pair of tweezers, pliers or scissors, grip the pit inside the fruit and pull it out delicately though the hole at the top. You can then stuff the prune with the filling of your choice (cream cheese with herbs, chocolate ganache…).