Prune-Stuffed Prunes

stuffed prunes with prunes

In what could be the hardest-sell on the planet, I always try to talk people who come to Paris into trying Pruneaux d’Agen fourrés, which are prunes stuffed with prunes. In spite of their reputation, prunes are a great delicacy in France and rightfully so; one taste of even just a regular pruneau d’Agen (especially mi-cuit, or “partially dried”), and you’ll plotz the first time after your first bite. (Although sometimes you need to give it a few hours for the full effect.)

To make them, the pit of each prune is yanked out with long-nose pliers, then the prune is refilled to the point of nearly bursting with smooth prune puree, sometimes with a touch of Armagnac. You’ll find the filling dialed-up with almond cream or chocolate or orange zest in some cases, but I prefer nature, or plain. Because that’s the kind of guy I am.

prune tin

If you’ve ever invited to a French person’s home, a tin of Pruneaux d’Agen fourrés is a gift par excellence. A friend of mine who comes to Paris infrequently flipped out when she returned back to the United States after her last trip and couldn’t find them, making them one of those Only-in-France (or Europe) items. I suppose there really isn’t much pent-up demand for prune-stuffed prunes elsewhere. And her search turned up nothing, which reminds me that I’m overdue to send her a tin.

I’ll have to admit that I don’t buy them as often for myself as I should either, but a visit to a candy store last weekend rekindled my love of them. Maybe when my system has recovered from fresh cherry season, I’ll go get a tin for myself.

So maybe I convinced you, maybe I haven’t. If you need a little more prodding, try them with a glass of Armagnac alongside. And if that doesn’t work, I’m writing you off as a lost cause—so don’t expect any packages on your doorstep.



Some Places in Paris to Get Pruneaux d’Agen Fourrées

La Bonbonnière de la Trinité – 4, place d’Estienne d’Orves (9th)

A la Mère de Famille

A l’Etoile d’Or

G. Detou

Izraël – 30, rue François Miron (4th)


For those willing to take on a search, use some of the tips in How to Find Foods Mentioned on the Site, and perhaps you’ll find them if you’re interested in trying them. Otherwise, you’ll just have to come visit – since I don’t deliver.



Related Recipes

Poached Prunes and Kumquats

Duck Poached with Prunes

Plum (Prune) Kernel Ice Cream

Crème de pruneaux artisanale (Bernie’s Crumble, in French)

Prune-Chocolate Tiramisu (David Lebovitz/LA Times)

Prune-Armagnac Ice Cream (David Lebovitz/LA Times)

78 comments

  • Plotz? David, you’ve lost me and given the nature of the foodstuff you’re discussing I’m reluctant to theorise…

  • Agen prunes are simply one of the many pleasures in life… amazing.

  • Those crazy French! I’m so intrigued though, and I imagine (probably because I love prunes) it’s darn tasty, esp with Armagnac! Oh please, send ‘em hither to Seattle!

  • I love the tin, the prunes sound delicious (I love prunes, but have never had prune-stuffed prunes), so you can definitely keep me on your list (any chance I will find a tin on my doorstep?).

  • Wow! They look soooo good!

  • There is usually a reason for certain foods. Eg chickpeas is not a ‘full protein’ – certain protein elements are missing and this is fixed by the addition of nuts/seeds – sesame. Hummus is a full protein. When I think of prunes, a particular ‘digestive’ function comes to mind. Stuffed prunes would be doubly effective and maybe thats why these were invented. Maybe the French were eating too much cheese and drinking too much wine – not enough fibre

  • These sound delicious! I shall hunt for them in Dublin and see if there’s any place that sells them :)

    On another note, I got the ‘Ready for Dessert’ book (finally!) and tried the orange and cardamom flavoured flan for a dinner party last weekend. I was making Indian food and must say, the dessert went down quite well! It was light, just what you need after heavy Indian food and the flavours perfectly complemented the spices used in the meal…thanks for your brilliant recipes! :D…can’t wait to try out more from the book!

  • Naturally, you had me at ‘prune.’ I’ve been a longtime devotee and proselytizer for the once plump stone fruit. I love the sound of an Armagnac edition too. (I guess that’s the kind of girl I am.) ;)

  • D’Artangan sells prunes stuffed with foie gras in the US – not as healthy, perhaps, but sooo tasty!

  • A Plum: We were discussing what’s the hardest food to photograph lately, and beef stew and meat were considered the hardest. But I have to say, prunes are tough little fellas to snap. Hard to make them look good – but put a glass of Armagnac alongside and things start looking better : )

    Sujatha: Glad you liked that dessert & the book – thanks!

    Three-Cookies: Living in France, I’ve learned that few subjects are taboo, especially when it comes to bodily functions (and the digestive tract). I have a few stories about conversations I’ve had at dinner tables, and in public places, where the subject (discussed in vivid detail) was a little to…um…descriptive for me. But I don’t bring those up, as readers elsewhere might not be as used to that as I’ve become.

    Marie: You’re right. I don’t think those are quite as healthy for ya…

  • I’ll have to put those prune-stuffed-prunes on my “Get in France” list, merci! :-)

    Austrians have their own prune “candy” – Rumbapflaumen – rum marinated prunes covered in dark chocolate. Irresistible.

  • Regarding delicate subjects discussed: In Mozart’s time they were even discussed at the dinner table, according to some of his letters. ;-)

  • Merisi: I’ve tried to get through Madame de Sévigne’s letters, but wasn’t so successful – but apparently she was obsessed with the subject as well. I just like the prunes for the flavor, but when I try to get guests to try them, other issues come up.

  • I have to say that the word prune is kind of a turn off in English (you think of old people needing extra fiber, not a delicate dried fruit), but if you say dried plum, it sounds so much better.

  • Convinced – those look wonderful!

  • Yo Dawg I heard you like prunes so I put Prunes IN your prunes

    lol ;-)

    Memes aside these look yummmmmy

  • It’s like the turducken of the dried fruit world.

    Prunes are my favourite. I wonder if these could be recreated at home?

  • I’m a huge prune fan. Maybe it’s because of my Czech heritage–we eat prune kolaches quite a bit. Thanks for show-casing them :)

  • Can they be found in any good confiserie? Our upcoming trip (sadly) skirts Paris. We’ll be in Strasbourg, Beaune, Avignon and Nice, for big cities, so I’m guessing it shouldn’t be difficult to track these down. I have loved pruneaux a l’Armagnac since before legal drinking age, and will order pretty much any dessert or ice cream that has them. (And yes, first stop in Nice is Chez Pipo, second Fenocchio for dessert).

  • I am genuinely intrigued. I LOVE prunes, weird but I think they are superb. Prune stuffed prunes sounds delightful.

  • Mmmm…I’m with Samantha. I wonder about recreating something similar at home? And now I’m dreaming of other dried fruit stuffed fruits. Dried pear stuffed pears (with frangipane?)…dried apricot stuffed apricots (with almond?)…

  • I don’t understand why prunes are looked down upon in the States. I think they are delicious, and since I am going to Paris in 5 days, I will be on the lookout for these delicacies. Thank you for sharing. I also jotted down the locations of a few chocolate and pastry shops you recommend. I can’t wait.

  • I want to put these on my next cheese plate. I love that you included a glass of Armagnac in your photo! You managed to make prunes look elegant :)

  • Samantha and Sarah: You probably could. I linked to a recipe for crème de pruneaux and something like that could be used, perhaps with a pastry bag, to stuff pitted prunes. Let me know if you try it!

    staphanie: I actually like the word “prune” and when they tried to switch it to “dried plum”, it just wasn’t the same – it sounds too forced. I don’t know how effective that marketing campaign is or was, but I still call ‘em prunes.

    Jessica: Yes, most nice confectionary shops carry a version of these in almost any French city (although I often seem to hit places that are out of exactly what I am looking for, as a rule.) But you shouldn’t have any problem. Enjoy Chez Pipo, and don’t forget that they don’t open until 5:30pm : )

  • My grandmother used to stew prunes with fresh lemon and lemon zest. Fond memories of the prunes (not of her though). These sound amazing. Please send some!!! :))

  • I am actively salivating at this moment and already e-mail a French friend to begin out own prune black market in the States.

    Don’t tell, but if you need a source… ;)

  • Trying to figure out how to tell husband-person that we need to go to France to buy a tin of prunes. Yes, he might plotz.

  • I am drooling. Prunes stuffed with more prunes–divine. How do you keep from eating too many and doing yourself harm? I am shooting off an email to a Parisian friend begging for a tin of these jems.

    BTW the California Dried Plum and Prune board agrees with Stephanie.

  • Hey David, I actually found a website that will deliver these delightful little nuggets of joy almost anywhere! Here it is: http://www.longuesserre.fr/

    Your friend should fret no more!

  • I love Prunes. There is also a great Prune liqueur at the french restaurant here in the Okanagan of Canada. It is so delectable. At the farmers market there is also a large prune pastry that is so good too. They are sweet and delicious!

    The Wanderfull Traveler

  • Being 30 weeks pregnant these sound fabulous for their flavor and effectiveness. Without the Armagnac, of course.

  • I just found these on amazon.com

    I hope they are similar.

    I bought the last 2 in stock.

    Hi Angela: Those are just the prunes, not the stuffed ones. They are good – but they’re not the same, I’m afraid : ( – dl

  • Wow – I love prunes and they sound amazing! Great pics, great find! Thanks!

  • Prune ice cream (in France) is amazing – I’ll have to hunt these down when I’m there this summer!

  • Costco in California of all places has the absolute best dried fruit platter at Christmas time. Each of the assorted and nicely displayed fruits is plump and moist. I understand they are processed in Northern California and so they may not be available everywhere. Prunes and apricots are only two of the fruits on this tray. Absolute yum. There’s dried out fruit and then there’s dried fruit, sigh. The rest of the year I buy the Mariani packaged prunes at Costco, which are also moist and lovely. Again, Mariani is a Northern Califonia processor.

  • You know, I’ve always liked prunes just fine, if I’d ever remember to eat them. These ones sound pretty good, though!

  • Anna: Those are indeed them (and congratulations on sleuthing them out! I looked for a little while..) The price is a bit spendy, but the tin shown in the post was about €16, so they aren’t all that inexpensive here in France either.

  • Hah! So french to stuff a prune with, yet, more prune! Now, to stuff that into a pork roast might be interesting….I’ll bet they are way ahead of me!

  • Unrelated question, but I’m traveling to Paris by myself for the first time next week.

    In a fine chocolate shop is it acceptable to only buy a few bites? Like three or four chocolates to enjoy a a treat?

    Same question w/ macarons.

  • As we live in the Dordogne every summer, les pruneaux d’Agen are always something we look forward to eating once we arrive. Prunes stuffed with prunes are awesome. We don’t ever pass up an opportunity to try interpretations of all things prune. When we were in Paris at the end of May, I couldn’t resist a scoop of Agenaise ice cream at Berthillon – yep, it was with prunes and Armagnac. At Saunion in Bordeaux last week, the chocolates filled with bits of prunes and Armagnac were also delicious. But really, I mostly like a good piece of dark chocolate with a gros pruneau that I buy at the Bergerac market! Janet Fletcher is going to be leading a Culinary adventure at our place in September and we’ll definitely have prunes on the menu!

  • elizabeth: It’s absolutely okay, and normal. Most chocolate shops have small plastic bags (sac) for folks who want just a few pieces, or a couple of macarons. Then they weigh it and charge accordingly.

  • Well, that one drop of French blood in me must be directly responsible for my love of prunes! These sound heavenly. Now if I can find them in the U.S. I will be very happy.

  • One of my favourite way to end a meal in Paris is to order “pruneaux à la Armagnac,” 3 fat delectable prunes that have been soaking in Armagnac and then with a shot of Armagnac on top. It’s usually served in a large snifter type glass.

    All my friends know my weird dessert habit and give me strange looks while they’re eating their flaky pastry dessert. For me, nothing ends a meal better than prunes and Armagnac!

  • I know someone from the islands who grinds up prunes with other fruit and soaks it in cherry brandy for months and makes a cake with that. So it seems that these would be easy to make. Grind prunes, mix with liquer, chcoclate and other stuff into prunes. Also my Caribbean friend served prunes with peanut butter. Yum.

  • I LUF Pruneaux d’Agen!
    Who knew double-decker Pruneaux d’Agen existed?
    I can’t wait to try this.
    merci carolg

  • I had to look up the word “plotz” just to make sure it didn’t mean something else.
    I do love prunes, however, and use them in braised meat dishes all the time. They melt away like anchovies (different flavor, of course) and add a rich dimension to the sauce.

  • Thanks for the tip about a hostess gift. We have been blessed beyond measure by friendships with several French families, and constantly on the lookout for small gifts they will enjoy when we visit. So far they have enjoyed wood trays and bowls from Maui (our home), macadmia nuts, champagne (always safe), and dried cherries from Costco, an unexpected and perennial favorite (and the only one they discreetly ask if we will be bringing for them). Can prunes be far behind?!

    …mahalo nui loa (thanks very much)!

  • Piggybacking on parisbreakfast… Are these double-decker colon wreckers??

  • Yes, please. I’ll take one. ;-)

  • Mmm…I’m a prune fan. Now I’m thinking…since our fig tree is nearly ready to burst, fig stuffed figs may be in order!

  • What nerve showing such a delicious treat and not being able to enjoy – unless going to France !!! So sad – but a recipe or such might work and put a smile on my face. Thanks David

  • Yum! Prune stuffed prunes! They are rebranding prunes here in the States as plums.

  • I used to bring prunes to work and hide them in my desk. I would sneak out one every so often when no one was looking. I do so love them.

  • I’m sold! Sign me up for a box or two!!

  • They don’t just taste great, they’re also really good for you!

  • I love prunes, but they are under-used here in Australia. Perhaps because of their more, ahem, traditional use as an aperient. I’d be stuffing them with chocolate, though.

  • There’s a European bakery here that sells prune hammentaschen, a folded cookie made with a rich butter dough filled with prune. It’s delightful!! Not sure if I’m spelling it correctly. A favorite cousin is the one filled with hazelnuts. Also good! And there used to be one filled with apricot jam. Whichever one left in the case is the one I’ve eaten. Yum!

  • Ugh, it might just be me, but I can’t figure out why we have to ruin something perfectly delicious by calling it “health food”. I love dried fruits, but would rather focus on the fact that they are terribly high in calories, loaded with sugar (yes, natural…whatever), and, in this case, positively drunk on Armagnac.

    I am considering dipping them in chocolate for additional validation of depravity. YUM!

  • you don’t need to convince me- I’ve had these little prune devils and they go WAY beyond there looks. I loved them so much when I tried them in Paris, I tricked myself into thinking I’d found the same thing in Berlin- a Germany specialty supposedly- glace prunes. No where near as juicy and over the top pruney.

  • Wow, these sound delicious. Who would have thought? I wonder if I can get them in Australia. A recipe would be fantastic!

  • We brought back pruneau d’agen a month ago from Paris. They are so much better than the ones we have here in the U.S. even our 6 yr old daughter was eating them. Prunes do not get as much hype as blueberries but they are richer in antioxidants apparently. Alas our supply was all gone and we were wondering how to get more…

  • Not to sound like an old person, but I LOVE PRUNES. Thanks for the find David! I’ll be hunting for these gems on my next trip!

  • I guess she really DID buy the last two, Amazon has not restocked them.* Being Polish….I grew up with prune pastry….it was my favorite! Something to look forward to when my daughter and I are back in Paris. * Realize they are not the stuffed ones.

  • Seems like you’ve really hit on something with your prune piece.

    We were at A l’Etoile d’Or today and bought many, many things, including a can of these for my mother. Despite my efforts to blend in here in Paris, Ms. Acabo sized me up as an American in about sixty seconds and then told me I must be here because I had seen her in your blog. I mentioned she was in a number of blogs now but she was very clear whose mattered most.

    It was a lovely visit, marred only by her being sold out of Jacques Genin’s caramels. I suppose we will have to make another trip…

  • What most people (especially prune haters) don’t realise is that inside the relatively soft stone of a prune, resides a delicious and aromatic bitter almond, which is a worthwhile reward for eating a prune, even if you don’t like ‘em…

  • Brings me back to the days of debating which level of dryness I wanted in my prunes. At the marché in Marmande there was quite the selection and really it depended on use. Fresh plum season there was amazing, too…

  • David –

    I am hoarding and saving my last two prune-stuffed prunes from Denise Acabo’s store.

    I think I love the packaging (the tin and the white doile wrapping) as much as the actual prunes.

    Thanks for the fabulous recommendation.

  • In high school, I made Pruneaux au Sauternes (with sugar and Cognac) and actually had friends asking for more. Teenagers? Asking for FIBER? Thanks for the post — they look lovely.

  • I love the look of these, they are going on the cookery course menu and credit given back to this wonderful site, fantastic

  • I adore prunes! I would most definitely plotz if I ever ate one of these! Definitely part of my death row meal!

  • I want cheese-stuffed, cheese-stuffed, cheese-stuffed cheese please.

  • These sound fantastic–I’ve only tried the regular pruneaux d’Agen. And thank you for NOT calling them dried plums!

  • You would never ever ever have to persuade me to eat these. I ADORE prunes. Eat them several times a week – come on, they’re amazingly good for you and I never have a problem with ‘regularity’ that’s for sure.

    On my next visit to France you can bet I’ll be on the lookout for these. Thanks for the recommendation. (Love the tin too. What pretty packaging!)

  • Thanks for introducing a yummy new sin. David, do you know of any home recipes for prune-stuffed prunes (in English or French) or am I just going to have to experiment?

    Or maybe it’s time to go to Paris….

  • Is Chipotle open yet? When does Chipotle open? And don’t tell me Candelaria is good and not owned by MacDonalds cause I don’t care.

  • Hi David,

    I just want to say I LOVE you blog. Great writing, and I love how the information is organized. Prune stuffed pruned!?!? Amazing. I want to fly to Paris just to try them. I am Asian American and I grew up loving preserved plums. They are sweet and sour and addicting. It’s because they are preserved in licorice. I can’t buy a bag because I eat them all in one sitting. You should try them! There are whole aisles dedicated to them at Asian Markets.

  • Hi,
    http://www.musee-du-pruneau.com/
    among the best prunes (and related products) in France, near Agen. Sadly, it is a french-only website… There is also a museum of prune breeding near the shop.

  • I am going to have a go at making these this weekend. And I might try some other fruits too later on. Can’t see that it could be difficult.