Quick-Stewed Plums

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Modern Mediterranean

Modern Mediterranean

By Melia Marden

Published 2013

  • About

I have a weakness for quick-cooked fruit desserts like this one. Planning in advance and making an elaborate cake can be very satisfying, but it’s often more realistic to have a recipe on hand that you can throw together in minutes, especially if you’ve just cooked a full dinner. I love the way the pigment in the plums’ skin infuses the cooking liquid, making for a vivid contrast with the vanilla ice cream. At the restaurant we serve a breakfast version of this dish—chilled, drizzled over Greek yogurt, and topped with crushed almonds.


  • 4 black plums, sliced into 8 wedges each, pits discarded
  • Juice of ½ orange
  • ½ cup (55 grams) packed brown sugar
  • 2 strips orange zest, each 1 by 2 inches (2.5 by 5 centimeters)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • Vanilla ice cream


  1. In a medium-size saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the ice cream with ¼ cup (60 milliliters) water and heat over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the plums are just falling apart, about 8 minutes.
  2. Remove the plums from the heat and serve with their cooking liquid over bowls of the ice cream.