These spiced stewed plums are warming and delicious. With only five ingredients they are on the table in just fifteen minutes for a quick and easy dessert.
Like my plum compote and stewed pears these spiced poached plums are quick, easy and very versatile. Delicious warm with some vanilla bean ice cream or sour cream ice cream for dessert or cold with yogurt and granola for a healthy breakfast. They are a great way to use cooking or sour plums or give a second life to fruit that's on its last legs.
I like to make a large batch of spiced stewed plums at the beginning of the week so I have a quick, easy and relatively healthy option throughout the week. If anything they are better the following day, when the flavors have had time to develop.
Plums: I used red plums in this recipe. Blood plums or black plums will be prettier but you can use any kind of plum you like. This is also a good recipe if you have sour cooking plums or firm plums you need to find something to do with as the cooking will soften them up and make them edible.
Chinese five spice: is usually a combination of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and fennel. It is used extensively in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine and gives a wonderfully complex flavor to these spiced poached plums.
Granulated sugar: a little sugar elevates the flavor of these plums and if you are cooking with under-ripe or cooking plums you need it to balance the sour notes. I have kept the sugar to a minimum in this recipe, if you like it sweeter you could add more sugar. You could also try it with other sugars such as brown or replace the sugar with honey or maple syrup, keeping in mind this will add their own flavors to the dish.
Water (not pictured): a splash of water helps loosen up these pears and gets the juices flowing to allow them to cook without drying out.
Cinnamon: some ground cinnamon goes perfectly with these pears. You could mix things up by adding some other warming spices, such as cloves, ginger or nutmeg.
Vanilla extract: sometimes also called vanilla essence, depending on where you live. You can use either, or imitation vanilla essence, depending on your preference and budget.
How to make stewed plums
Cut the plums in half and remove the stones. You can leave the skin on the plums, it will soften up when you cook them and be a bit healthier that way.
Put the water into a small bowl and add the vanilla, mix well. Adding the vanilla to the water before pouring it over means you get an even distribution of vanilla throughout the plums and don't end up with any pockets of concentrated vanilla. Use a peeler to cut two long, wide strips of zest off the orange.
Add the plums to a medium with a lid. You don't want the plums to be more than about two layers deep or the two ones won't stew properly. I ended up transferring these to a larger pot after adding all the ingredients in these photos. Pour over the water and vanilla, add the orange peel and sprinkle with Chinese five spice and cinnamon.
Put the lid on and cook until delicious. If your plums are very hard to start with, cook them for ten to fifteen minutes. If your plums are very ripe and soft to start with cook for five minutes.
Remove from stove, serve and enjoy!
How to serve
To serve the poached plums spoon into a bowl and enjoy! Fabulous hot or cold on their own, with some cereal and yogurt for breakfast or of with a scoop of my sour cream ice cream or easy vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of biscotti crumbled over for dessert. Delicious!
How to store
In the fridge: These plums will store well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
In the freezer: To freeze the plums wait until the plums are completely cool and transfer plums and syrup to a sealed, airtight freezer proof container. The plums will freeze for up to three months. Thaw completely before eating, either cold or reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Have you made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below and tag me on instagram so I can see your delicious creations! @keep_calm_and_eat_icecream
Looking for more yummy dessert recipes?
Why not try making
- 8 medium (750gms) fresh plums
- ¼ cup (62mls) water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- ¼ cup (55gms) sugar
- 1 large strips orange zest
- ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Cut the plums in half and remove the stone. You can leave the skin on the plums, it will soften as it cooks.
- Put the water into a small bowl and add the vanilla essence. Mix well.
- Put the plums into a small pot on the stove. Pour over the water and vanilla. Add the orange zest. Sprinkle over the Chinese five spice and cinnamon.
- Put the lid on the pot and cook until soft. For already soft ripe plums this will take about five minutes. For hard, under ripe plums will take about ten minutes.
- Remove from post, serve and enjoy! Fabulous on their own or with a scoop of my sour cream ice cream. Delicious!
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.
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