5 Ingredients or Fewer

Italian or French Plums in Brandied Coffee Syrup

August  7, 2015
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

Unlike round plums and pluots, which are dramatically sweet and tart and juicy just eaten out of hand, prune plums are subtle. They are medium-sweet and mellow—their true greatness usually emerges in baked desserts, such as tarts, tortes, and cakes.

But they are also unexpectedly marvelous—with rich flavor and a velvety texture— simply poached in strong coffee with a little brandy. —Alice Medrich

  • Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 cups strong coffee
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 3/4 to 2 pounds (800 to 900 grams) fresh prune plums (see headnote) halved and pitted to make 5 to 6 cups
In This Recipe
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and simmer 5 to 10 minutes, turning the plums gently, once or twice, until just tender.
  2. Taste and add sugar to balance the flavor if necessary.
  3. Serve hot, warm, or chilled. Plums keep in the refrigerator for at least a week.

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My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).