Stewed Plums

stewed plums in white bowl with spoon resting in bowl.

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Stewed plums are a quick and easy way to prepare plums, and they taste great on a variety of breakfast and dessert foods! You can make this easy stewed plums recipe in only 10 minutes or so.


Units Scale
  • 2 pounds (907 grams) firm-ripe plums, washed (see notes)
  • 3/4 cup (177 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)


  1. Cut each plum in half vertically and remove the stones carefully with your fingers or a small paring knife if needed. Set plums aside.
  2. In a large, high-sided skillet, add the water, sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, and orange zest (if using). Place the pan over medium-high heat and stir, just until the sugar begins to dissolve.
  3. Add the plum halves to the pan in a single layer, cut side down. Cook the plums in the liquid for 2 minutes, turning the heat down when needed to maintain a simmer.
  4. Carefully flip the plums using tongs, and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Test the doneness of the plums by inserting a small knife into the plum flesh. For plums that are more firm and hold their shape better, the knife should encounter slight resistance. This stage will take approximately 4 - 5 minutes of total cook time, depending on the ripeness of the plums (see notes).
  6. For softer plums, continue to cook for an additional 2 - 3 minutes, flipping the plums one more time to rest on their cut side.
  7. When the plums have reached the desired level of tenderness, remove them from the pan with the tongs and set aside. 
  8. Optional: to create a plum syrup to serve alongside the stewed plums, continue to simmer the cooking liquid for an additional 4 - 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the desired thickness is reached. (If not doing this step, simply store and serve the plums in the cooking liquid as-is.)


For best results, choose plums that give only slightly to gentle pressure. They should be firm, but not rock-hard.

If you like more sweetness or your plums are quite sour, you can increase the sugar to 2/3 cup.

The cooking times listed here are based on medium-sized plums that are firm-ripe. You may need to adjust the cooking time depending on the size and ripeness of the plums you are using, and your preference for how soft or firm you would like the stewed plums to be.

The stewed plums will store well in the fridge for 3 - 4 days, or for up to 6 months in the freezer.

The nutrition information below is an estimate only; the nutrition counts of your dish will vary based on the brands and exact amounts of ingredients used. This information was provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full nutrition disclosure policy.


Keywords: stewed plums, stewing plums