Happy Plums from Courage the Cowardly Dog
Muriel: Oh Courage, my secret recipe for happy plums will make anything happy! Don’t they smell delicious? Put a little sour cream in each, will you Courage?
Muriel: Did you eat all of our happy plums?
Courage: Uh-huh. Hahaha
Muriel: That’s ok Courage, there’s plenty more. By goodness, I should put more vinegar in all my recipes!
– Courage the Cowardly Dog (The Tower of Dr. Zalost)
Cartoon Network | Season 2 - 13
Plums are kind of a “C” grade fruit, in my opinion. They tend to be outshone by other stone fruits like peaches and cherries. Not many people pick them as their favorite fruit and if plums ARE your favorite fruit I would be curious to know and also for you to explain why. Likely if you do love plums you’ve already made Happy Plums, but for everyone else I’ve got you covered.
This is actually my second Courage the Cowardly Dog recipe, the first being Little Muriel’s Macaroni and Cheese. For that recipe it was clear that the macaroni and cheese contained both…macaroni and cheese, in escalating quantities. Here we get a few more details on the happy plums in that Muriel says they contain vinegar and need to be topped with sour cream, but that’s about it.
I took some inspiration from this recipe for Ukrainian syrniki with brown butter plums. I didn’t make the syrniki (Ukrainian pancakes), but the brown butter plums gave me some ideas on how to make these plums a little more happy. And, as I’ve said numerous times, most recipes can always be improved by adding some rich, creamery butter.
Given that plums are already sweet but a little tart, I thought that balsamic would be the best vinegar option. And because I wanted to prove that I know fancy cooking techniques, I decided to amp things up by making a balsamic reduction for the plums too. Bam!
- Brown Sugar
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Full Fat Sour Cream (because low fat sour cream is not allowed in my home)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut plums in half and remove the pit. Place plums in a roasting pan and sprinkle with brown sugar and add a small spoonful of butter to the inside of each plum. Place plums in the oven to roast.
Meanwhile, slowly heat up balsamic vinegar, to create a balsamic reduction (about 15 minutes). Do NOT boil the vinegar, you need to let it reduce and thicken slowly. Once you have the balsamic reduction ready, drizzle it over the plums and put them back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes until soft and tender. Remove Happy Plums from the oven and top with sour cream.
This actually turned out better then I thought. This is a pretty bizarre combination that I would never have considered making without the Muriel to inspire me. The plums came out nice and tender and really took on the flavors of the butter, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. The sour cream on top almost acted like an “ice cream” and was also a tasty addition.
I doubt I would make happy plums again as a dessert. But if I find I’ve got some plums sitting around that I need to use up I can think of worse ways to use them! Or, if a crazed maniac and his pet rat are hurling depression cannonballs into people’s houses, I’ll know what to do.
Cromunlence: 8 $33,333,333,333’s out of 10
Happy Plums recipe from: Courage the Cowardly Dog (Season 2 – Episode 13)