Thursday, August 27, 2009

Roasted Anise Plums

After I made this recipe, I scooped a couple of warm plum slices into a small bowl and splashed them with some cream. I couldn't believe how fantastic they tasted and found myself drinking the plum syrup from the bottom of the bowl like a lunatic. I was really pleased that I was all alone in the house and confess this only to convey the goodness that is Roasted Anise Plums.

I should mention that I like plums just fine but they certainly aren't my fruit of choice. I suspect I only bought them on a whim due to their eye-catching purple exterior. Hankering for a dessert the other evening, I decided to give them the Honey Vanilla Rhubarb treatment. I adjusted the proportions and ingredients a bit and thought about putting some fennel seeds in but decided to go for anise instead. The plums were transformed - tender, richly flavored, very fragrant.

Serve them with cold or whipped cream, over pancakes or waffles, over ice cream, or stirred into yogurt. I also envision these making a perfect pavlova topping.

For about 3-4 servings:

  • 4 large firm plums
  • 1/3 cup sugar (or vanilla sugar if you have it)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed, lightly crushed with a mortar & pestle

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a medium-sized baking dish with cooking spray. Cut the plums into thick slices and add to the dish. Add the sugar, honey, vanilla bean and anise seed and toss to combine.

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Depending on the ripeness of the plums and your preference, they may need to cook for a bit longer. I ended up at around the 35 minute mark. Serve warm, or let cool, transfer to a container and refrigerate. They will keep for several days.