These glossy stewed plums are ready to be served in 10 minutes requiring 4 simple ingredients. These plums are beautifully poached in a sweet syrup liquid and make a delicious addition to ice cream, pancakes, or yogurt, but they can also be served on their own as a plum dessert.
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This recipe for stewed plums with fruit, sugar, and cinnamon is the guarantee for a delicious, versatile dessert. In about 10 minutes, these stone fruits turn into a glossy plum dessert. The plums are poached in a sweet syrup liquid with cinnamon and orange juice.
Baked apples are a delicious way to celebrate and taste fall, but when plums are abundant in season, this recipe is one to enjoy more than once.
The plums become sweet and soft by gently cooking (poaching) plums in a sweet liquid infused with spices and orange juice. These plums are delicious on their own but are also a perfect addition to pancakes, ice cream, yogurt, or granola.
The best part about this recipe is that it’s simple and fast to make. After about 10 minutes, these sweet and tender plums are ready to be served with a delicious sweet and slightly tart syrupy plum liquid.
Why you will love this recipe:
- Easy to make and a versatile sweet addition to many recipes.
- A great way to use a bigger batch of plums.
- Can be kept in the freezer.
- Ready in 10 minutes.
- Only a few ingredients are needed.
POACHED OR STEWED PLUMS?
Poaching and stewing are often used interchangeably because both are cooking techniques that involve simmering.
Stewing is a slow cooking method where moist heat is used for cooking the food and serving it in the resulting liquid. To stew plums, you’ll need a simmer on low heat, and the result will be liquid and soft plums to enjoy. The temperature for stewing on the stove top is about 82ºC/ about 180 Fahrenheit degrees (simmering at low heat).
Poaching is a cooking technique where the shape and structure of the food should be retained. Poaching should not soften the food, as is the case with stewing.
There are a lot of different plums, but you might not have a variety of plums to choose from in your supermarket. I used Stanley plums for this recipe, but sugar plums, red plums, or black plums are also good options. It’s best to use ripe, slightly firm plums.
Granulated sugar is best to stew plums gently – white sugar or brown granulated sugar will work in this recipe.
For this recipe, fresh orange juice gives the stewed plums perfect sweetness and acidity. All oranges, such as naval oranges, clementines, satsumas, or tangerines, will work.
Cinnamon is a warming spice and gives the plums a distinctive cinnamon taste.
HOW TO: EASY STEWED PLUMS (step-by-step with photos)
You will only need 4 ingredients for this recipe, and the steps are easy to follow. Follow this step-by-step photo tutorial and find the full recipe and ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.
Wash and dry the plums. Cut each plum in half (vertically) and remove the stone with a small knife. It can help to twist both halves in opposite directions to separate the halves. Set the halved plums aside.
Add the water and orange juice to a skillet (or pot) over medium heat, then add the sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon. Stir gently so the sugar can dissolve.
Add the plums halves to the skillet with the cut-side down and let stew for a few minutes. Keep the heat at low-medium to keep a gentle and low simmer.
Flip the plums to the other side and simmer again for a few minutes, but keep the texture in mind. Repeat if you want soft stewed plums.
Remove the plums from the heat if they are ready and set them aside. The longer and more often you flip and stew the plums, the more tender the plums will be. You can also stew them a bit shorter, so they are still a bit firm.
STEWED PLUM SYRUP
When the plums are stewed and ready to be served, keep the juice in the skillet and let simmer on low heat (stir frequently) so it can thicken. This will result in a delicious plum syrup. You can serve the plum syrup separately or with the plums. If you don’t want to create plum syrup, you can remove the plums from the heat with the juice and store or serve the plums with the sweet liquid.
HOW TO USE STEWED PLUMS
These plums are a delicious and versatile addition to many sweet recipes (not just dessert). The more traditional way is to serve stewed plums with vanilla ice cream. But these plums are amazing on top of pancakes, waffles, porridge, or granola. Plums also pair beautifully with cold yogurt and nuts.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS
These basic stewed plums recipe leaves some room for variations. Here are a few substitutions and variations that I can recommend.
If orange juice is too sweet for you and you don’t mind a tangier flavor, try lemon juice instead. Or a combination of orange juice and grapefruit juice.
This recipe uses orange juice and orange zest, but you can also use bottled orange juice and skip the orange zest if you don’t have oranges.
Want to give this recipe a festive twist? Use half water and half red wine or mulled wine.
Spice things up a bit by using more spices, such as cloves, vanilla, star anise, nutmeg, cardamom, or chopped root ginger.
Play around with the sweetener. Use half white sugar and half maple syrup or half white sugar and half brown sugar. This will all make the flavor more complex and interesting. You can also make these plums refined sugar-free by using maple syrup only.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long do stewed plums last?
If the plums are covered with the syrup, they will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator, without the syrup you can store them for about 4-5 days. You can serve the plums cold or slowly warm them up on low heat before serving.
Can you freeze stewed plums?
Stewed plums can be kept in the freezer if you freeze the plums with the cooking liquid (syrup). Frozen stewed plums can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months. Let the plums cool down, and transfer the plums plus syrup into an airtight container with a lid or a freezer bag. As with any other fruit, the texture will be slightly different once thawed.
Can I use overripe plums?
For this recipe, you can use overripe ripe plums too. The result will be sweeter. If the plums are very ripe and sweet, adjust the sugar content in this recipe.
Since overripe plums are also very soft, you might want to shorten the cooking time, so they don’t fall apart. And if your plums are underripe, the opposite is applicable (cook longer). Therefore, ripe and firm plums are best for this recipe.
Can I use a pan instead of a skillet?
A skillet works great for this recipe because the plums have all the space to simmer in the liquid in one single layer. A saucepan can technically work, but the plums can fall apart or will not be able to stew at the same time equally.
I recommend a (cast iron) skillet for this recipe. Mine is 10 inches (25 cm) with sides a bit higher so the skillet can accommodate the cooking liquid.
Due to allergies or personal preference, you can remove the skin of the plums, but this is not necessary. If you want to do so, I recommend doing this after the stewing. It’s a bit messier, but the process is much simpler since the skin will loosen during the stewing.
Best plums for stewing
The best plums are the plums available to you. As mentioned above, when your plums are harder or sweeter, you can adjust the sugar content or the cooking time. I successfully made this recipe with prune plums, sugar plums, red plums, and black plums. Whatever plums are available to you, ensure they are not overripe or still under ripe and very hard. For varieties and storage tips you can read this article.
My favorite is prune or Stanley plums (those are almond-shaped plums). They are a bit smaller and great for stewing. Their shape holds well, and the stone is easy to remove. Medium-sized plums are also a good option.
The firmness and tenderness are important. If the plums are too firm, the result will not be so sweet and juicy. If the plums are too ripe, the plums will be very sweet and easily fall apart.
The best way to check if your plums are ready to be removed from the heat is with a small knife. Gently pierce a plum with a knife and check if the plum is tender but not too soft and falling apart. The cooking time will greatly depend on the ripeness of the plums.
How sweet the stewed plums will be is up to you. If your plums are a bit overripe, reduce the amount of sugar. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking regardless of how ripe or unripe your plums are.
For sweet plums, I recommend 1/2 cup (60 grams) of sugar, and for just perfectly firm plums, I recommend 3/4 cups (85 grams) of sugar.
If you are going to make these plums, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @thegreencreator or by leaving a comment below. I sincerely appreciate it!
These soft stewed plums are cooked in sugar and orange juice infused with cinnamon. These plums are a delicious addition to ice cream, pancakes, or yogurt, but they can also be served on their own as a plum dessert.
- ∼ 1 pounds (500 grams) ripe plums, washed*
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) granulated sugar*
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
- Wash and dry the plums and cut them vertically in half. Remove the stone with a small knife. It can help to twist both halves in opposite directions to separate the halves. Set the plums aside.
- In a skillet over medium heat, add the water, orange juice, cinnamon stick, sugar, and orange zest. Let it come to a soft simmer and stir so the sugar can dissolve.
- Add the plums halves to the skillet with the cut-side down and let stew for a few minutes. Keep the heat at medium-low to keep a gentle and low simmer.
- After a few minutes, flip the plums to the other side and let stew for a few minutes. You can do this with a spoon or tongs.
- Keep the texture in mind (this depends on the ripeness of the plums) and lower the heat or remove from the heat if the plums start to fall apart.
- Repeat for firm (under ripe) plums to get a soft texture.
- Check if the plums are ready. Insert a small knife into a plum to do so. Depending on the ripeness of the plums, it can take 4-8 minutes for plums to stew perfectly. The plums should be soft with a little bit of firmness, but they shouldn’t fall apart. It can also depend on the size of the plums. If you have a batch with different sizes, you may have to remove the smaller plums first.
- When the plums are ready to your liking, remove them from the heat with a spoon or tongs.
- Serve the plums with the cooking liquid or store the plums with the liquid.
- Alternatively, make a plum syrup by cooking the cooking liquid for a few extra minutes. Stir and let simmer until the juice becomes thicker.
Whatever plums you use, ensure it’s not underripe or overripe. The plum should be soft but firm when pressing gently.
Adjust the sweetness to your liking by using more or less sugar or a different sweetener such as maple syrup. For sweet plums, I recommend 1/2 cup (60 grams) of sugar, and for just perfectly firm plums, I recommend 3/4 cups (85 grams) of sugar.
- Stewing time
The stewing time will greatly depend on the ripeness and size of the plums. Adjust this according to the plums you use and your personal preferences (softer or firmer stewed plums).
Play around with the spices and add whole star anise or crunched cardamom, nutmeg, or vanilla. For a more festive twist, use half red wine and half water to stew the plums.
The stewed plums with the cooking liquid can be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days or up to 6 months in the freezer.
Stewed plums are a delicious addition to ice cream, pancakes, or yogurt, but they can also be served on their own as a plum dessert. Plums also pair well with nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, or pistachio nuts.
Keywords: stewed plums, dessert, condiment, sweet, stewed fruit,
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