To make simple, flavorful stewed prunes, add 1 pound large whole prunes and 1 halved lemon to a saucepan. Pour 3 tablespoons maple syrup over the prunes and lemon pieces along with enough water to cover the fruit. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
Once the liquid begins boiling, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and simmer the prunes for 30 to 35 minutes. Stir the prunes occasionally while they cook, and add extra water if necessary. When the prunes are stewed properly, the fruit is soft and plump, and the liquid should have the consistency of syrup. Take the pot off the heat, and let the prunes cool before transferring them to a container. Serve the prunes by themselves, or add them to yogurt or oatmeal.
Alternatively, for more complex flavor, combine 1 pound pitted prunes with 1 1/4 cups sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks and 2 1/2 cups dry red wine in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the mixture for 45 minutes. Allow the wine-stewed prunes to rest for 15 minutes off the heat before serving them. Optionally, add marscarpone to a plate or bowl, and top it with prunes and a drizzle of syrup.