Easy Stewed Damson Plums

Closeup of dark plums

 Cristian Bortes/EyeEm/Getty Images

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
254 Calories
1g Fat
65g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 254
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 65g 24%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Protein 2g
Calcium 36mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Stewed fruit is nothing less than a fancier-sounding fruit compote. In the culinary world, a compote refers to fresh, canned or dried fruit that has been stewed in a syrup of sugar and other flavorings. And that's exactly what is done here with damson plums.

Stewed damson plums can be eaten at all times of the day. Enjoy them as part of your breakfast alongside a warm cereal or French toast; serve on the side with roast pork or ham. And, of course, top with whipped cream and savor at the end of the meal for dessert.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (a little more if plums are tart)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 pounds damson plums (washed and pitted)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine sugar, water, and cinnamon stick in a large pot over high heat. Boil for 3 minutes or until the mixture is syrupy.

  3. Add the plums to the syrup and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer the plums for about 10 minutes, or until quite tender.

More About the Damson Fruit

The damson plum is just one of many types of plums. Damson plums are mostly grown in the United Kingdom as well as a few California orchards and harvested in the late summer and fall. They are high in sugar and, at the same time, somewhat bitter and are an especially good plum variety for jams and preserves.

The fruit is small in size, a bit larger than a cherry, and the skin of the damson plum ranges from a dark blue to near-black. The flesh is somewhat dry and minimal compared to the seed. Since most damson plums are "clingstone," it might be difficult to separate the stone from the fruit. If the pits are very stubborn, you can stew them whole with the pits left in. 

There is a yellowish-white variety but it is not as common as the purple. The overly tart taste makes these plums ideal for cooking along with a significant amount of sugar versus eating raw out of hand. The flesh is too dry and sour to enjoy uncooked.

A Little Background on Damson Plums

Damson plums actually have a long history, said to have originated in the city of Damascus, where the plum got its name. When the Roman Empire spread, the plum became a currency of trade, especially in Britain, where the fruit is grown today. Until World War II, damson jam and damson cheese (a fruit paste that is commonly served with cheese) were found on the tables in most British households as the fruit was produced commercially—for both eating and as a dye. Because of its deep blue color, the skins were used to dye military uniforms, pottery, and carpets. After the war, however, the plum fell out of favor until more recently when it has reemerged as a fashionable fruit.

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