Stewed prunes are so delicious. Cooking softens them, and they end up swimming in the most delicious syrup.
Stewed prunes might be forever tied in our minds to constipation relief, but they are actually delicious. Sweet and flavorful, they make a wonderful dessert or snack.
20 years ago there was a marketing effort to rebrand “prunes” and call them “dried plums.” I don’t know if it succeeded or not. The package I have says “Amazing Prunes,” so maybe they gave up.
The thing is, prunes are truly tasty! They are sweet but not cloyingly so (unlike dates for example which are VERY sweet). They have a deep, complex flavor, and they have very mild sour notes to balance out the sweetness, which I find really nice.
When cooked they are especially delicious. Cooking softens them, and they end up swimming in the most delicious syrup. Just as important, making them is so easy. See the recipe card below. This is a truly easy, simple recipe.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need four simple ingredients to make stewed prunes. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Prunes: Obviously, you should use pitted ones in this recipe. I like to use fairly large ones, but any size should work.
Water: Some people use orange juice, straight or diluted. But I like to simply use water.
To flavor the dish: Vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. These really add a lot to the dish, so I wouldn’t skip either of them.
How to make stewed prunes
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your first step is placing the ingredients – dried plums (ha!), water, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon – in a small saucepan. Gently stir.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil.
3. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently stir again. Cover the saucepan, and simmer the mixture for about 15 minutes.
4. The last step is refrigerating the dish. This allows it to thicken. But you can certainly serve it warm, especially if you’d like to pour it over Greek yogurt.
There’s no need for added sugar
Some recipes add sugar or honey to the dish. I find it completely unnecessary. Dried fruits are naturally very sweet, and cooking them brings out this sweetness and enhances it. I do add vanilla and cinnamon, and those are indeed lovely additions. But I don’t add any sweetener.
How to eat them?
You can simply eat them on their own as a sweet homemade dessert, and that’s how I usually serve them. You can also spoon them on top of plain Greek yogurt for a filling breakfast or snack.
What to do with leftovers?
Stewed prunes are wonderful when served warm, but you can also eat them cold, after being refrigerated overnight (or longer). The advantage of refrigerating them is that it considerably thickens the cooking liquids and makes them more syrupy.
As for how long you can keep them, they keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 4-5 days. If you’d like to reheat the leftovers, do so very gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
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Stewed Prunes Recipe
- 20 pitted prunes (160 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Place the prunes in a small saucepan.
- Add the water, vanilla and cinnamon. Gently stir.
- Bring to a boil (this will likely take about 5 minutes). Gently stir again, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, until the prunes are soft and swimming in syrup.
- Transfer the stewed prunes to a heat-proof glass storage container. Cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This allows the syrup to thicken and flavors to develop. Serve alone as dessert, or spoon on top of plain Greek yogurt.