Old-fashioned Cinnamon Prunes

Bowl of Cinnamon Prunes

Stewed prunes are delicious, so when I saw a hundred-year-old recipe for Cinnamon Prunes, I decided to give it a try. The recipe called for adding both stick cinnamon and lemon or orange slices to prunes and water, and then stewing. The Cinnamon Prunes were tasty with a sunny citrus undertone and a hint of cinnamon. The recipe’s a keeper. I’ll definitely make it again.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Cinnamon Prunes
Source: Good Housekeeping’s Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries

When I was flipping through a hundred-year-old recipe book published by Good Housekeeping, I was intrigued by this recipe – and then when I saw that the recipe author was from Danville, Pennsylvania, I just knew that I needed to make it. I grew up about 20 miles from Danville – and I seldom see recipes from this area of central Pennsylvania in hundred-year-old cookbooks. The cookbook doesn’t give the author’s name – and maybe it’s a stretch – but could my ancestors have known the author?

When I made this recipe I skipped the overnight soaking of the prunes. I have vague memories of prunes being very dry years ago – and that they needed to be soaked for a long time before cooking; however, modern prunes are generally moist, and just heating them with a little water is sufficient to get prunes that are nice and soft.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Cinnamon Prunes

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 pound (16 ounces) prunes


1 stick (approximately 3 in.) stick cinnamon

2 lemon or orange slices (I used lemon slices.)

Put prunes in a saucepan and cover with water; add stick cinnamon and lemon or orange slices. Using medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Can be served warm or cold.


23 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Cinnamon Prunes

  1. We had stewed prunes on school lunches – always a favorite with me (and no one else it seemed). I just bought stewed plums but they can wait! The prunes are definitely on the menu now! I’ll have to give this a try, perhaps this coming week!

    1. Now that you mention it, I believe that our school also sometimes served prunes. I think that you’ll like this recipe. It’s very easy, and the prunes were tasty.

  2. Mother made stewed prunes fairly often as I was growing up. I do not recall ever making them myself. These sound quite nice with the spice and citrus addition.

  3. I think it was you that put me onto this website. Check out the source of the recipe – Danville Pennsylvania.

    Another day of overcast and rain but at least it’s rain and not snow – yippee. Hopefully the real first day of spring and the weather will remain according to the season until the next equinox🤞

    The snow is almost a dim distant memory……

    Stay well❣️Stay safe❣️Keep smiling ❣️Pam & Bob


  4. It seems like such an old fashioned thing to stew fruit. My mother (86yrs) recently sent me home apricots she had stewed and they were a surprising treat. I think we don’t stew fruit so much these days because we easily get fresh fruit year round but I think I will have to try some variations on this.

    1. I hadn’t thought about it before, but I think you are right. It makes sense stewed fruits are less popular today because of the ready availability of fresh fruit – though, as you said, stewed fruits are quite tasty and we’re missing something if we only eat fresh fruits.

    1. I hope you enjoyed the Cinnamon Prunes. It’s nice to hear that the recipe I selected this week sounded like something you wanted to make.

  5. That’s the way my mother did them. And I still do. Minus the soaking, as you said prunes are so moist these days. Makes me wonder sometimes, but I hurry past it.

    1. I wonder about that, too, sometimes. It’s a but unsettling how the characteristics of some foods like prunes have changed over our lifetimes. Good to hurry past the thought.

  6. You are so right about the difference in prunes between years ago and now. They were always like little rocks and needed to be soaked. I wonder what they have injected them with to keep them plump.

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