Earl Grey Stewed Prunes

Sunday 2 April 2017


I love breakfasts over on the continent, which is what we would call mainland Europe here in the UK. Anytime we have travelled there I have really enjoyed the Continental Breakfast Buffets with their cereals, cheeses, meats, fruits, yogurt, crusty rolls, and fresh croissants. You just don't want to eat bacon and eggs every morning, and these delightfully fresh buffets provide a lovely change from that!

One of the things I love most on these buffet tables is the fresh fruit and the stewed fruit. The last time we went to Austria, there were the most gorgeous stewed plums on offer. I had a small bowl of them every morning the whole time we were there. This dish here today hearkens back to a kinder, simpler age when stewed prunes might often be on the menus of many breakfast tables.

Dried prunes have been widely available for a long time, and made a change in the winter when fresh fruit was scarce or quite expensive. Soft and sweet and loaded with lots of fibre and vitamins, they make for a very pleasant breakfast dish. 

I love them any time of the day, and often eat them as a snack, out of hand  . . . but, when they are stewed like this, in a mix of Earl Grey tea and marmalade, they go down very well.

Such a simple thing to do. Just bring some water to the boil, and add a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade, or ginger jam if you prefer . . .  and a couple of tea bags . . .

I like the scent of Earl Grey with it's hint of citrus Bergamot.  I use a naturally caffeine-free organic rooibos tea which you can find here.  We don't drink caffeinated teas because of our religious beliefs but we do herbal blends which are nice and work perfectly in their place. If you have no religious restrictions by all means use the regular one.

Marinated overnight and served chilled from the refrigerator with some natural Greek yogurt, these were divine.  I served them in some antique cut glass fruit dishes that I have and only ever rarely use.

I felt like I was on the set of a 1950's sitcom.  I think I must have been born 20 years too late because these are the simple kinds of recipes which really speak to my culinary soul.  I love them.

To be honest . . . when I was serving them,  I felt a bit like a combination of Donna Reed and Aunt Bea.  This is the type of breakfast dish my own Grandmother would have served, perhaps without the marmalade, but with honey instead, and she would have used ordinary black tea . . . and perhaps it might have been topped with tinned evaporated milk, instead of yogurt.  Today it was a small taste of the old mixed with the new and it was very, very nice.

*Earl Grey Stewed Prunes*
Makes 4 servings

 Kind of old fashioned, but with a modern twist.  These are simply delicious. 

1 pound un-pitted prunes
1 knob of preserved ginger, coarsely chopped
2 TBS orange marmalade
1 cup water
3 earl grey tea bags 

Place the prunes along with the ginger, marmalade  and water into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring to melt the marmalade.  Remove from the heat. Add the tea bags. Let steep for three minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Chill and keep in the refrigerator.  Serve as a dessert with some cream or for breakfast.

I really hope you will make these.  Simple flavours.  Simple techniques.  Beautifully put together for maximum enjoyment.  Bon Appetit!


  1. Never heard of this..every day something new w/ you:)

    1. I think you might like these Monique. They are a great addition to the breakfast table! xo

  2. Sounds delicious. How much is a “knob” of ginger?

    1. It is preserved Stem Ginger, not regular Ginger. It comes in jars. They are full of ginger cut into balls, each about 1 inch in diameter and preserved in syrup. I would use one of those. You can buy preserved Stem Ginger online or make your own. I have a recipe to make your own preserved Stem Ginger here: https://www.theenglishkitchen.co/2020/12/preserved-stem-ginger-in-syrup.html

  3. I’m just eating a bowl now in Greek yoghurt. I first came across this in a UK hotel in the Peak District and have loved it ever since. How long do you think they can be stored in the fridge for once soaked?

    1. I would think you could keep them for 4 or 5 days! I think they are simply lovely! Thank you! xo


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