This recipe for Poached or Stewed Plums showcases the natural sweetness of the fruit, allowing you to keep it perfectly sugar free.
If you are lucky enough to have a glut of homegrown, foraged or farmers market plums, stewing them is a simple way to turn them into a delicious dessert.
I prefer to use plums that are still a little firm for poaching. They hold together better during cooking, and are still a little tart. When paired with the sweetness of a (sugar free) pure fruit juice, the balance between the two is delightful.
However, if you have a really sweet tooth, you could choose softer, riper plums. They may fall apart a little during the cooking but will still taste wonderful.
How to Make Poached or Stewed Plums
First, wash and dry your plums.
Slice them in half, from the stem through the ridge that runs down one side of each plum.
Twist the two halves apart, then carefully prise out the stone.
Place the plums into a pan and pour in the fruit juice.
I chose a 100% pure red grape juice (with no added sugar) because I wanted the gorgeous deep red colour in my dish.
But any unsweetened fruit juice would work well. Try orange, apple or pineapple juice. Or, if you fancy something rich, decadent and syrupy, try using prune juice.
I used it in this Poached pears in Spiced Prune Juice and it tastes wonderful!
Next up I added the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod.
To get the maximum flavour from the vanilla pod, I used the tip of sharp knife to split the pod.
I then used the back of the knife to scrape the teeny little seeds out of the pod, and added both the seeds and the pod to the saucepan.
Finally I popped the pan onto a high heat and brought it to a quick boil.
I then reduced the heat to a simmer, and gently cooked the plums for 5-6 minutes.
At this point the plums were soft but still mostly intact.
How to serve poached plums?
Serve them hot, or cold. They’re delicious served with ice cream, porridge, pancakes or just on their own straight from the bowl.
Any extra juice that is left over can be added to a smoothie, a fruit crumble/crisp or a mulled wine.
Can you freeze cooked plums?
Yes, absolutely! Once poached, these plums will freeze extremely well. When defrosted you may find them a little softer than they were when first cooked, but they’ll still taste wonderful.
If you’re looking for other ways to use up your frozen stewed plums, why not add some chopped apple and bake a pie, or crumble/crisp. Delish!
- 10 plums
- 1 litre Red grape juice – or fruit juice of your choice
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 1 Vanilla pod
Wash, dry and halve the plums.
Carefully remove the stones with the tip of your knife, or a teaspoon.
Add the plums to a medium sized saucepan.
Pour in the fruit juice and add the cinnamon stick.
Using the tip of a sharp knife, slice the vanilla pod in half lengthways.
Turn the knife over in your hand and, using the back of the blade, scrape the seeds from each half of the pod.
Add both the pod and the seeds to the pan.
Put on the pan lid and set the pot on the stove. Turn the heat to high, and once boiling, immediately reduce the heat and let gently simmer for 5-6 minutes.
If your fruit was very ripe and soft, it will take less time to poach.
When the fruit is soft, serve with a spoon or two of the spiced juice.
If you have any leftovers, allow to cool in the saucepan, then pour into a Tupperware tub and place in the fridge.
Use up withing 3-4 days or, once fully chilled, it can be moved to the freezer where it will last for several months.