It was my father-in-law who introduced me to the world of home grown produce and stewed fruit. When I was seventeen, I went onto a Christian sports camp in North Wales, that he and my mother-in-law ran, and ended up in the kitchen a lot, watching and helping him cook. Try to imagine a mad scientist-come-engineering type let loose on the kitchen equipment and you get the general idea. It could get very tense in that kitchen with him, he was a such a perfectionist and you were always on edge because he had a terrible temper and you were never quite sure if he was going to blow -over nothing, basically. However, I realised at the time & have known ever since, that as far as cooking goes, I get his branch of kitchen insanity – we’re on the same page. And never more was this confirmed to me than the day I observed him stewing plums in honey – a truly glorious combination.
The way I stew plums is the same way my father-in-law did it. He would stew plums in a deep sided saucepan with a generous quantity of honey and no water. I actually have the exact same saucepan and have photographed it for your interest (shown in pictures), but you can easily stew plums in a normal saucepan. Heavy based cast iron saucepans are particularly suitable, but the most important thing here, is that you use a pan you can arrange your plums in a cluster in, as opposed to arranging them in one layer lining the bottom of the pan. Remember, you are essentially poaching your fruit in it’s own juice, and it won’t poach successfully, if the juices cannot get all around it.
P.s Please note that my recipe will make enough stewed plums to feed 6-8 people. If this is too much for you, simply halve the ingredients, so 550 grams of plums and 150 grams of honey.
- 1100 grams ripe or nearly ripe British Victoria plums
- 300 grams honey
Take the plums, wash them and put them into a deep sided saucepan, so that they are piled up, rather than in a single layer lining the bottom of the pan (please see my picture as a guide below).
Pour or spoon all of the honey on top of the plums and put the pan onto a moderate heat, stirring occasionally and watching carefully until the juices start to flow.
Turn the heat down to low and continue to gently stir the plums every so often for 20-30 minutes, by which time they should be cooked. You will know they are cooked because the flesh of the fruit will be soft and you will have a lot of syrupy honeyed juice.
Serve this aromatic. delicious fruit dessert, on it’s own, with some cream and some plain sponge or shortbread biscuits. With Greek yoghurt. Or, do what I do when I am feeling very indulgent and serve with homemade chocolate brownie and homemade chocolate sauce.
If you want to sweeten your plums further, add more honey or sugar a tablespoon at a time, stirring it in and testing to taste before adding more.
If you wish to use less honey, you can add half or a whole teaspoon of cinnamon to the pan once the juices start to flow.
Cooking your plums in a mixture of sugar and honey is also a very excellent way to do it.