(serves 4 to 8)

Poached Plums, particularly when made with meaty dark flesh plums, are an excellent foil to rich creamy desserts or decadent chocolate confections. This recipe also works wonderfully as a dessert, by itself, with Oat Crunch topping.


400g (2 cups) brown sugar
500ml (2 cups) water
2 star anise

380g-425g (8) rich dark plums (I like to use Black Doris)
5ml (1 tsp) Crème de Cassis (optional)


  • Into a medium-size pot place sugar and water. Place over medium heat and stir till sugar is dissolved.
  • Add star anise and bring syrup to the boil. Add plums and to prevent plums from bobbing above the surface, place a single layer of greaseproof paper, cut into a round the same diameter as pot, directly on top of fruit. Bring syrup back to the boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook plums for 5-8 minutes or till tender but not soft. The cooking time for the plums will depend on the variety of plum used and the ripeness of the fruit. Plums will suddenly lose their shape if overcooked.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove Poached Plums from liquid and transfer to a container. Cool. If you wish, remove split skins but I enjoy the plums with a raggedy appearance.
  • Leave remaining juices on the heat for a further 3-4 minutes to reduce slightly so it becomes syrupy. Add Crème de Cassis and pour into a jug to cool.
  • Serve fruit and syrup at room temperature together or separately.