Stewed plums

‘yes, yes, you deserve Sugar Plums’ – John Dryden

Early modern plum marmalade was often more of a dessert, eaten by itself. Another nice early modern thing you can make with plums is ‘quiddony’ or ‘quidoniacke’ which is more like jelly. This dessert tastes like a mix of pie filling, stewed fruit, and marmalet. Who knows how authentic it is, but it is the most delicious thing we have made so far. We promise that the next dish will be a highly authentic one (Tudor French Toast).

Ingredients Stewed plums

Plums cooking in rosewater

Plums cooking in rosewater


punnet of plums


1/3 amount of sugar as you have plums

2 tsp cinnamon

2tsp ginger

small glass of red wine

edible gold dust (optional)

To Make it:

Peel and slice the plums. Cover them in rosewater and boil. When they are getting soft, strain then, bash them with a spoon a bit, add sugar, wine, cinnamon, and ginger, and cook until the sauce is kind of sticky. Add some edible gold.

Thomas Dawson, The Good Huswife’s Iewell (1587)

You must boile your fruite, whether it be apple, cherie, peach, damson, peare, Mulberie, or codling, in faire water, and when they be boyled inough, put them into a bowle, and bruse them with a ladle, and when they be cold, straine them, and put in red wine or claret wine, and so season it with suger, sinamom and ginger.


WM, The Queen’s Closet Opened (1659) – ‘To Make a Marmalet of Any Tender Plum’

Take your Plums, and boil them between two dishes on a Chafing-dish of coals, then strain it, and take as much Sugar as the Pulp do weigh, and put to it as much Rose-water, and fair water as will melt it, that is, half a pint of water to a pound of Sugar, and so boil it to a Candy height, then put the pulp into hot Sugar, with the pap of a roasted apple. In like manner you must put roasted Apples to make Paste Royal of it, or else it will be tough in the drying.)


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