Italian or French Plums in Brandied Coffee Syrup

August 7, 2015

Test Kitchen-Approved

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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.

More Great Recipes:
Italian|Fruit|Plum|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Make Ahead|Summer|Fall|Dessert

Reviews (4) Questions (1)

4 Reviews

Rachel August 19, 2016
Delicious!
 
ghainskom August 22, 2015
I loved this at all temperatures but chilled was best. Nice.
 
Jimmy H. August 10, 2015
Sounds like this might be able to be canned. Do you think the acid from the coffee and the plums would be enough to keep it stable in jars? My Grandmother was always on the lookout for prune plums. Her mother made a plum kuchen for Rosh Hashanah. I still make grandma's Bun Kuchen every year. Prune plums are also great with a slow braised pork roast with lots of onion and rosemary. Can't wait to try this!
 
mela September 4, 2015
I've been researching the possibility of canning this, as it's delicious. The sources I've seen suggest coffee has a pH of about 5, variable depending on the coffee. Illy (reportedly) says espresso is 5.2. With plums and brandy added, who knows. But as you want a pH lower than 4.5 for canning (ref Eugenia Bone, Well Preserved) it seems a little chancy.