An easy stewed plums recipe flavoured with cardamom, cinnamon and a touch of thick, sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar. Perfect for breakfast or as an indulgent dessert!
With summer drawing to a close we're more drawn towards autumnal fruits like new season's apples, juicy pears and gorgeous plums.
Gently spiced, these poached or stewed plums make wonderful accompaniment to autumnal breakfast and go so well with warming porridge, yogurt, crunchy granola or some muesli.
Or flip the script and enjoy them with ice cream, cream or custard as a gorgeous dessert.
Few simple pantry ingredients and 20 minutes, that's all you need!
✔️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Easy and wholesome, seasonal recipe.
- Perfect use for seasonal plums.
- Easy to adapt and change up flavourings as per your preference.
- Uses simple, store cupboard ingredients.
- Stores and freezes well.
- Plums are full of fibre, Vit C and are associated with improved bone and gut health as well as cholesterol levels [source: The Doctor's Kitchen]
📝 Ingredients and substitutes
Here's what you will need to make my Easy Stewed Plums recipe:
Plums - Any variety is fine. Simply wash, halve and de-stone them, no peeling necessary.
The sweetness of your stewed plums will differ depending on their ripeness and variety.
Brown Sugar - Either light or dark brown sugar will work well. You can also use caster or even granulated sugar but I do like that subtle caramel like flavour from brown sugar.
Cinnamon Stick - You could substitute it with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Cardamom Pods - Cardamom pairs well with cinnamon and using pods instead of powder ensures that its flavour doesn't overpower the fruit.
Bash the pods gently with the rolling pin or in the pestle and mortar to open them and release the seeds.
If all you've got is ground cardamom, use just ¼-1/2 teaspoon max.
Balsamic Vinegar - Bearing in mind that not all balsamic vinegars are the same go for the best you can afford. I've been using Belazu Balsamic Vinegar of Modena 1.34 (UK). It's not cheap but last a while and it's thick, trickly and both sweet and tangy, just gorgeous. It's the best around in my opinion (not sponsored) and I usually get it when on offer which makes it a good value.
Water - Just a splash to create lovely poaching syrup.
Ingredient quantities & detailed instructions to be found in recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Prepare the plums by washing, halving and de-stoning them.
Take cardamom pods and bash them gently using a rolling pin so that they just open. You can also do it in pestle and mortar if you own one.
Next put water, vinegar, sugar and spices into a medium saucepan and place it on a medium heat.
Simmer for couple of minutes stirring from time to time until sugar has fully dissolved.
Add prepared plums, stir them in gently, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Take the lid off the pan, check plums for doneness and either take them off the heat or continue simmering (without the lid) until they're soft to your liking.
***Quick Tip*** Cooking time will depend on the plum variety and ripeness. The riper the plums the less cooking they require. Either way it's a quick process to keep an eye on them so that they don't overcook.
Discard the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods, serve and enjoy!
***Quick Tip*** Once the plums are done, you can serve them as they're with the syrup or you can remove them from the pan and continue reducing the syrup until very dark and thick.
Store - Stewed plums will store in the fridge for up to a week.
Reheat - To reheat them simply put desired amount of stewed plums in the saucepan and heat them up gently, on a low heat until warm/hot as per your liking.
You can also reheat them in the microwave.
Freeze - They freeze really well. Make sure they're cold first before transferring them into freezer friendly containers and freezing for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
💭 Pro Tips
Make sure to keep an eye on the plums as they cook as they can go from not ready to mushy very quickly.
The riper the plums the quicker they'll cook. If you'd like to ensure that stewed plums keep their shape well, go for slightly firmer ones.
Feel free to adjust the sugar accordingly and as per your taste. The sweetness and ripeness of the plums will be an important factor to bear in mind here.
If you're going for a showstopper dessert, choose Victoria plums for their stunning purple skin.
🍴 Serving suggestions
Stewed plums with their sweet and tart flavour work really well with warm, cosy porridge (oatmeal), yogurt and granola or muesli for breakfast.
Try them with vegan banana nice cream, vegan cream or custard for a lush and healthier dessert option.
Feel free to play around with flavours and extras here:
Use a splash or citrus juice (lemon or orange) instead of balsamic vinegar. You can also include few with of peel when poaching.
Use star anise and/or allspice berries instead of cinnamon and cardamom.
Use splash of red wine or port instead of water for that extra flavour. Don't worry, alcohol will evaporate.
Swap sugar for liquid sweetener of choice: maple syrup or honey work well.
If you like a bit of spice, try adding some fresh ginger to your stewing syrup. You can either grate some (for more spice) or add few pieces you can remove later (just to infuse the syrup a bit).
Mix it with other fruits; apples or blackberries would be my go to's.
Stewed plums freeze really well. Once they're completely cool transfer them into freezer save container(s) and freezer or up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in then fridge.
You can use any plums you have available. Simply remember to adjust the amount of sugar or liquid sweetener according with the sweetness and ripeness of the plums you're using.
Yes you can although they might come out a bit mushy. However, if you're not too fussed about the appearance it's absolutely fine.
If you'd like to serve stewed plums as a dessert and for them to hold their shape, I would recommend using slightly firmer, less ripe fruit.
Have you tried my Easy Stewed Plums recipe?
Please consider giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in recipe card below and share your views or tips in the comments.
😋 More fruity recipes
Easy Stewed Plums
- 400 g plums washed, halved and de-stoned
- 40 g brown sugar see notes
- 50 ml water
- 4 cardamom pods gently bashed with rolling pin to slightly open, see notes
- 1 cinnamon stick see notes
- 1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar I like Belazu
- Prepare the plums by washing, halving and de-stoning them.400 g plums
- Take cardamom pods and bash them gently using a rolling pin so that they just open. You can also do it in pestle and mortar if you own one.4 cardamom pods
- Next put water, vinegar, sugar and spices into a medium saucepan and place it on a medium heat. Simmer for couple of minutes stirring from time to time until sugar has fully dissolved.40 g brown sugar, 50 ml water, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar, 4 cardamom pods
- Add prepared plums, stir them in gently, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. Take the lid off the pan, check plums for doneness and either take them off the heat or continue simmering (without the lid) until they're soft to your liking.400 g plums
- Discard the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods, serve and enjoy!4 cardamom pods, 1 cinnamon stick
Once the plums are done, you can serve them as they are with a drizzle of their stewing syrup or you can remove them from the pan and continue reducing the syrup until dark, thick and treacle like.
- Nutritional information is approximate, per serving (based on 4 servings) and should be treated as a rough guideline only.
- I like using brown sugar but caster or granulated sugar will be fine too.
- Both cardamom pods and cinnamon stick can be substituted with their ground equivalents. For details see Ingredients and substitutes.
- Store in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.