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Orange and red color plum halves in a syrupy liquid with the inside facing up in a black skillet with a golden spoon with one plum halve in it.

Stewed Plums

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Bianca
  • Total Time: 10
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: condiments, dessert
  • Diet: Vegan


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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Repeat for firm (under ripe) plums to get a soft texture.
  7. 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.
  8. When the plums are ready to your liking, remove them from the heat with a spoon or tongs.
  9. Serve the plums with the cooking liquid or store the plums with the liquid.
  10. Alternatively, make a plum syrup by cooking the cooking liquid for a few extra minutes. Stir and let simmer until the juice becomes thicker.


  • Plums
    Whatever plums you use, ensure it’s not underripe or overripe. The plum should be soft but firm when pressing gently.
  • Sweetness
    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).
  • Experiment
    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.
  • Store
    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.
  • Serve
    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.