Recipe: Dried Plums & Oranges in a Cardamom Tea Syrup

I thought winter was over; yesterday was 70F and sunny but today we have gale-force winds, horizontal blowing snow, thunder and lightning. That’s springtime in the Rockies for you.

This fragrant, fruity-spicy dessert is easy to make, rich tasting and perfect for blustery days – or any day, come to think of it.

That’s because it contains prunes.

If you’re tempted to stop reading at this point I implore you to continue; we Europeans understand how deliciously versatile prunes are because we don’t only associate them with our digestive health.

For instance, cognac-soaked prunes make an incredible filling for chocolate truffles (wait until next Thanksgiving/Christmas for that one) – and they have a great affinity for things as diverse as claret, amaretto, dried apricots and figs, marzipan, black tea, fresh oranges, ginger, apple juice and bacon. Rabbit with red wine and prunes is a wonderful French classic and it works very well with chicken if the idea of eating rabbit makes you weep.

Back to this recipe; there’s a particularly profound alchemy that occurs between prunes and black tea such as Earl Grey; something to do with the tannin in the tea. The end result is deliciously fragrant and will open your mind when it comes to the humble dried plum.

A final note – if you can find those orange-infused pitted prunes, they’re fabulous in this recipe but aren’t absolutely necessary.



(Serves 4)


4 smooth-skinned navel oranges

2 Earl Grey teabags

8 whole cardamom pods – cracked open a bit to expose the seeds

3oz / 75g of fine granulated white sugar

A dozen soft pitted prunes


Thinly strip the zest from one orange (avoiding white pith) with a potato peeler and add to the teabags in a measuring pitcher or ceramic bowl.

Pour over 18fl oz / 500ml of boiling water, infuse for 5 mins then remove the tea bags.

Add the cardamom pods to the tea along with the sugar. Stir and allow the sugar to dissolve.

Transfer to a small saucepan; bring to a boil and reduce by approx 1/3.

Put the prunes in a glass or ceramic dish and pour the hot tea syrup over them – cool and remove the orange zest.

Over a plate to catch the juices, cut the skin off the oranges starting with a slice off both ends – then with it standing on one end, slice off the skin and pith downwards in sections; cut off any remaining white bits then discard the skin and pith. Slice the oranges about ½ thick and add with accumulated juices to the prunes.

Allow it to sit covered for 2 – 24 hours at room temp – any longer and it needs to be refrigerated. Bring it back to room temp before serving on its own or over vanilla ice cream.

About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
This entry was posted in Desserts, Gluten Free Desserts, Vegan. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Recipe: Dried Plums & Oranges in a Cardamom Tea Syrup

  1. Dianne Lynn says:

    Hi Jackie!

    My dear friend, Patti Wall, sent your blog to me this morning. I can tell you that I’m already loving your writing style, wit and passion for food! I’m salivating over your prune/orange/cardamom recipe as I sip my morning dose of Earl Grey tea.

    I studied with Jacques Pepin in the 80’s. He taught me knife skills, technique and French cuisine. I’ve been cooking / entertaining all my life and would like to earn a living doing something that brings me joy.

    Please add me to your list. I have a feeling your blog will inspire me to continue onward into the next exciting chapter of my journey!


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