Spiced Poached & Stewed Plum Compote Recipe

Stewed Plum is our favourite quick and easy dessert to make with fresh stone fruits in the summer.

Fresh plums are stewed and poached in a skillet on the stove then flavoured with cinnamon, cloves, white wine, dry sherry and Disaronno amaretto.

Serve this homemade spiced Plum Compote recipe on French Toast, pancakes, ice cream, or yogurt. You can prepare it as a chunky topping or smooth sauce.

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Save our Spiced Poached & Stewed Plum Compote recipe to Pinterest!
Save our Spiced Poached & Stewed Plum Compote recipe to Pinterest!

Homemade Stewed Plum Ingredients

My family loves making this easy plum compote recipe during the summer months when fresh stone fruits are in season across Ontario.

The simple and versatile dessert recipe can be made with a variety of plums such as Damson, Black and Red.

  • Butter: a small amount of butter is used in this recipe to give the compote syrup and sauce a velvety and creamy texture.
  • White Sugar: adds additional sweetness to your stewed plums.
  • Cloves & Cinnamon: flavours the compote with warming spices.
  • Dry Riesling White Wine: gives body and flavour to the compote syrup.
  • Dry Sherry: our favourite fortified wine.
  • Disaronno: this Italian amaretto offers another layer of stone fruit flavour.
  • Sliced Plums: only use fresh plums, preferably locally grown when in season during the summer. You can remove the skin or keep the skin on. I like to keep the skin on as it colours the compote nicely.
Homemade Stewed Plum recipe ingredients.
Homemade Stewed Plum recipe ingredients.

What Is Poached, Stewed & Compote Fruit?

So what’s the difference between poached, stewed and compote fruit?

Fruit Compote is the name of a particular dish, while poaching and stewing are terms used to describe the desserts required cooking method.

  • Fruit Compote: compote or compôte is a dessert originating from medieval Europe, made of whole or pieces of fruit cooked in sugar syrup. Whole fruits are cooked in water with sugar and spices. It can be enjoyed warm or cold.
  • Poaching: poaching fruit by simmering it in a flavoured syrup deepens its flavour, softens its flesh, and gives it a shiny, almost translucent appearance. The sugar in a poaching syrup penetrates the fruit and keeps it firm during and after cooking.
  • Stewing: is similar to poaching in that it is defined as, “boiling slowly or with simmering heat.” You can use the terms stewed fruit and poached fruit interchangeably.

What Is The Difference Between Compote and Jam?

Compote and jam are two different products made from similar ingredients.

Compotes have bigger pieces of fruit in them, and smaller berries can and be kept whole, whereas jam has smaller pieces of fruit, sometimes even pureed. Compotes are not canned and have less sugar than jam.

What Is The Difference Between Coulis and Compote?

A coulis is smooth fruit puree that is sometimes strained, while a compote is usually pieces of fruit in a sugary syrup like sauce.

How Do You Thicken Compote?

A cornstarch slurry is a quick and easy way to thicken a compote. Add the slurry to the compote along with the other ingredients before cooking. This will allow to the slurry to slowly thicken the compote as it cooks.

Stewed plums are cooked in a skillet with spices like cinnamon.
Stewed plums are cooked in a skillet with spices like cinnamon.

History Of Fruit Compote

Compote conformed to the medieval belief that fruit cooked in sugar syrup balanced the effects of humidity on the body. The name is derived from the Latin word compositus, meaning mixture.

In late medieval England it was served at the beginning of the last course of a feast, often accompanied by a creamy potage. During the Renaissance, it was served chilled at the end of dinner.

Because it was easy to prepare, made from inexpensive ingredients and contained no dairy products, compote became a staple of Jewish households throughout Europe. In modern French, the term refers to usually unsweetened fruit purée without fruit chunks, such as applesauce.

Today, it is widespread and often served in lieu of vegetables in Northern European countries such as GermanyThe NetherlandsBelgium, in Scandinavia and France.

Dried fruit is often used for compote by cultures from Eastern Europe, and its syrup is also drunk as a beverage. Both are called kompot.

You May Also Enjoy These Fruit Compote Recipes…

Stew plums until the fruit is fork tender and the syrup has thickened.
Stew plums until the fruit is fork tender and the syrup has thickened.

Stewed Plum Cooking Tips

  • Select fresh ripe plums as they’re sweeter and take less time to cook. Red plums will give you a better colour than black plums.
  • In a pinch you can use frozen plums to make compote. Do not use canned plums.
  • Instead of sugar, try using brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey.
  • Taste your compote before removing it from the stove. Gradually add more sugar to taste.
  • Stewed plums will thicken more as they cool.
  • Don’t overcook stewed or poached plums or you’ll produce a thick jam.
Spiced Stewed Plum Compote Recipe Photo Image.
Spiced Stewed Plum Compote Recipe Photo Image.

Stewed Plum Serving Suggestions

You can serve homemade fruit compote warm, at room temperature or chilled.

You can enjoy it all on its own served in a small bowl with a spoon.

Since our recipe is boozy, you can use the syrup and stewed plum as a sweetener and flavour when making craft cocktails.

At brunch serve compote with French Toast, Pancakes, Waffles, yogurt parfait, oatmeal or in a healthy smoothie.

For dessert we love serving the syrup sauce and tender fruit with ice cream, cakes, pudding or in a milkshake.

You can also serve the syrupy fruit over a cheesecake.

Stewed Plums are best prepared during the summer stone fruit season.
Stewed Plums are best prepared during the summer stone fruit season.

Variations & Special Diets

My family likes to make a chunky stewed plum so we typically cook the fruit until fork tender.

The longer you stew or poach the plums in syrup the more they will break down. The texture of the plu s is a preference and totally up to you. If you want the compote to have more of a thinned sauce consistency cook the ingredients for a few more minutes over the stove.

You can add stewed plums to a blender to create a smooth sauce for sundaes or breakfast bowls.

Have fun with your spirit collection by making substitutions based on what’s available on your bar cart. You can substitue dry sherry for other fortified wines like marsala or sweet red vermouth. You can substitute Amaretto Disaronno for Grand Marnier.

Add apple cider vinegar for a tangy and sweet-tart edge.

Add lemon juice to tone down the sweetness of the plums.

If you want to make a kid-friendly non-alcoholic plum compote substitute the amaretto, wine and dry sherry with apple juice or water. You will likely need to add additional sweetener so taste while you’re cooking.

Want to make vegan stewed plum instead of this vegetarian recipe? Simply swap the butter for your favourite vegetable oil like canola or rapeseed.

Our Stewed Plum recipe is flavoured with cinnamon, cloves, wine, sherry and amaretto.
Our Stewed Plum recipe is flavoured with cinnamon, cloves, wine, sherry and amaretto.

Storing Stewed Plum

This plum compote is so delicious your family will likely finish eating it all in a day or two!

If you’re planning on double or tripling the recipe, store leftovers in a large jar at the back of your fridge for up to a week.

Compote can also be frozen and enjoyed once thawed.

You can not can or preserve stewed plum and store it long term like you would a jam.

We love serving stewed plums with ice cream.
We love serving stewed plums with ice cream.

You May Also Enjoy These Fruit Recipes…

Now you're an expert on how to make the best Stewed Plum Compote recipe!
Now you’re an expert on how to make the best Stewed Plum Compote recipe!

How To Make Homemade Stewed Plums

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5 from 1 vote

Poached & Stewed Plum Compote

How to make homemade Stewed Plum. Our easy poached plum compote recipe is flavoured with cinnamon, sherry, wine and Disaronno.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Stewed Plum
Servings: 8
Calories: 123kcal


  • French knife
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • Large Skillet
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon


  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 5 tbsp White Sugar
  • 3 Whole Cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/2 cup Riesling White Wine
  • 5 cups Plums washed and sliced into wedges (skin on)
  • 1/4 cup Dry Sherry
  • 1/4 cup Disaronno


  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter and melt, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and wine and cook at a simmer, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Allow the liquid to cook until it is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the plum slices, sherry and Disaronno and cook, turning them once until they are fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Let cool and serve over ice cream or yogurt.


Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.3g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1.8g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 15.4g | Calcium: 2mg

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