• 40–60 plums
  • ¼–¾ lb sugar
  • 6–12 cloves
  • cinnamon stick or vanilla bean


Make an incision in plums that are not completely ripe and remove the stones. Drop into boiling water until the skin splits, turn into a coarse sieve, and peel. Drop the peeled fruit into a boiling syrup prepared from ½ lb sugar, 4 glasses water, 10–20 cloves, and a piece of cinnamon or vanilla bean. When the plums have thoroughly cooked, transfer them with a slotted spoon to a serving dish. Strain the syrup, reduce to the appropriate thickness, cool, and pour over the plums.

If the plums are ripe, boil them up only once. Skin, arrange on a platter, and pour on the cold syrup prepared from sugar, cloves, cinnamon, or vanilla bean. Do not skin white plums or greengages.