Prunes in Rum ~ Pruneaux d’Agen au Rhum

Two small glasses filled with prunes in rum and a spoon resting inside each glass.

My friend Camille used eau-de-vie for making aperitifs and for bottling fruit. I remember how much we looked forward to her prunes in rum. The prunes were always the famous Agen prunes, which she bought at Fleurance, and which she preferred even to her own dried plums.–Pierre Koffmann

LC Will The Real Pruneaux Please Stand Up? Note

First things first. In case you were wondering what the author is referring to above, eau-de-vie is a lovely fruit brandy that’s made via the fermentation and distillation of fruit. Second, in the spirit of full disclosure, traditional pruneaux d’Agen are, in fact, slightly boozier than what this recipe renders. They’re usually steeped in Armagnac, a particular eau-de-vie made from grapes, and the result is damn good. So damn good that in Gascony, you’re not invited over for coffee, you’re invited over for those little lovelies. We think this tea and rum rendition, though, makes a laudable substitute for the kind made with Armagnac, which can be quite a lot more difficult to find at a decent price stateside than you may think.

Prunes in Rum

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 10 M
  • 15 H
  • Makes a lot
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan large enough to contain the prunes.

Add the prunes and the tea bags to the boiling water and cover with a lid. Remove from the heat and let set overnight.

The next morning, remove and discard the tea bags. Add the sugar and rum to the prunes and mix gently with a spoon until the sugar dissolves. (This may take a couple minutes, but the sugar will dissolve. Promise.) Divvy the prunes and the liquid among jars. (The prunes should be pretty much completely immersed in the sweet booze.) Cover and refrigerate, preferably for at least a few days. The boozy prunes will keep for up to 3 months. Serve at room temperature.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

The directions for this prunes in rum recipe were clear, simple, accurate, and led to a wonderful jar of rummy plums. The total hands-on time was about 10 minutes; the overnight steeping did all the work. When I went to tend to the plums in the morning, they were fragrant and succulent. I added the rum and sugar, which dissolved pretty quickly after a couple minutes of stirring. I tasted the plums the next day, and they were lovely: mildly sweet, subtly spiced, and not too boozy. I was surprised that the rum flavor was so subtle. I'd almost eat this over my Greek yogurt in the morning, but I'd better not! So far, I've also tasted these on their own and over vanilla ice cream, which was heavenly. The only potentially confusing part of the recipe is that it doesn’t specify what type of tea bag should be used, so I went with orange and cinnamon spice, which lent a lovely spiced flavor to the plums. I'd certainly suggest an herbal, spiced type of tea. Rooibos might be nice.

This incredibly easy recipe for prunes in rum delivered fabulous results. All it requires is a bit of patience. I made this at the end of September and then rather forgot about it. When I tried the prunes about 6 weeks later, they were spectacular. Soft, plump, beautifully seasoned, and not overly tasting of alcohol. I’m going to serve them at the holidays. Won't my guests be lucky?

I love this recipe for prunes in rum. I like dried fruit steeped in alcohol, but sometimes it can be too much when infused with straight alcohol. I used Lipton Yellow Label Tea bags and dark rum. I like the ratio of water to rum, as the dilution, along with the sugar, softens the flavor. The result was still boozy, but not as harsh as some recipes that I’ve made. I only used prunes this time, but next time I’ll also add dried apricots. I like this by itself, but it’s also great on ice cream or on pound cake. I’m anxious to see how this tastes as time goes by.


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  1. I used Double Bergamot Earl Grey from Stash Teas and Goslings Black Seal with great results. Thank you for a wonderful idea.

  2. Many thanks for the many great recipes. Today’s “Prunes in Rum” was especially enjoyable, since it reminded me of my great friend from Paris, Jacques, who’s now gone to that great vineyard in the sky. Let me tell you a quick story about him. Jacques also liked to combine alcohols with various fruits or leaves to make delightful aperitifs. His favorite (like today’s recipe) started with prunes that were first boiled in double strength tea, and then left to sit overnight. The tea was then thrown away and the prunes were put in jars and covered with vodka. After one month, you’d add as much sugar as you’d like to the mixture, taste it, and immediately start a new batch, knowing that it would take one month to make! To serve, the prune was covered with its dark brown liqueur in an appropriate glass. The stuff would last for months or years, if one forgot to drink it – no refrigeration was necessary. Magnifique!

    This, of course, is why this particular recipe became known as “Stewed Prunes a la Jacques”!

  3. Is it 2 1/4 lbs of pitted prunes or is that weight with the pits? I imagine that results in a very different number of prunes and I want to make sure I get the recipe right. Thanks.

    1. Hey Aaron, the recipe as written (and as tested) allows for either. Since this isn’t baking, where there are chemical reactions taking place, the extra weight from the pits (or the extra prunes if you use pitted) shouldn’t cause a problem.

      1. Thanks. I used pitted prunes, which I assume weigh less than those with their pits (about 200 prunes in all for 2 1/4 bs) and the prunes were above the water line, which spurred my question since I thought they were probably supposed to be submerged. Thanks David.

        1. You betcha, Aaron. It also depends upon the size of the prunes, too. Weighing down the prunes with a plate can help, or even adding a bit more water. For a recipe like this, it shouldn’t impact the results.

  4. This sounds FABULOUS. Can you comment on what kind of rum you used? Dark, like Goslings (sounds decadent), light, or medium? I know this is French, but wouldn’t it be lovely after a Caribbean-style curry?

    1. Hi Victoria, as one who cut their teeth on Goslings Black Seal, I would LOVE to hear how it works in this recipe! If you try it, please let us know. And to our other readers, please chime in and let us know your favorite.

      1. Will definitely let you know. Just the thought of it is making my mouth water. It’s always great to have a fine winter dessert recipe in your article, same as a good composed salad when all the greens are vapid.

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