My Spiced Poached Plums are a perfect, easily prepared, dessert. Fragrant and gently spiced, this is a dessert which is simple but full of flavour. Serve the Poached Plums warm, at room temperature or chilled. Top them with ice cream or cream for a fabulous dessert or serve them with yoghurt for a delicious breakfast.
Why we love this recipe:
This is such a quickly and easily made dessert. You can have these delicious, Spiced Poached Plums on the table in a half hour. I am certain you will enjoy the flavours in this recipe; plums and spices are great friends.
Poaching the plums enhances their natural sweetness and their beautiful, vibrant colour. Once you discover how easy it is to poach fruit, you will be able to use this technique for peaches, apricots and nectarines. Consider using ginger, cardamom, nutmeg or vanilla to flavour the syrup. Use brown sugar or maple syrup to sweeten them. Or, try adding some rosewater or some white wine. So many delicious options.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Plums – my preference is for dark-skinned plums, but you can use light coloured if that’s what you have.
Caster/superfine sugar – I prefer this sugar as it dissolves quickly.
Water – a small amount helps produce the syrup.
Balsamic vinegar – adds some colour and tang and enhances the flavour of the plums.
Whole star anise – adds an aromatic, warm spice note.
Cinnamon sticks – a warm spice which beautifully complements plums.
Orange peel – adds a bright citrus note.
Step by step instructions:
- To begin, halve the plums and remove the stone. Place in a medium-size saucepan.
- Add the sugar, water, balsamic vinegar, star anise, cinnamon sticks and orange peel to the plums and place over low-medium heat.
- Slowly bring to the boil, stirring gently, until the sugar has dissolved. Cover the saucepan and cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes or until the plums are soft and just cooked.
- When cooked, remove the star anise, cinnamon and orange peel. Gently transfer the plums to a heatproof serving bowl to stop the plums from cooking further. Serve the Poached Plums warm, at room temperature or chilled with a little of the poaching liquid.
Tips for success and FAQs:
Yes, certainly, you can make them two days in advance. When cool, store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Yes, store the cold Poached Plums in an airtight, freezer-safe container, in the freezer for up to 5 months. Be sure to date and label the container as it is difficult to recognise food once it is frozen.
I don’t peel the plums, their skins are not tough and I like the added fibre and nutrients the skin contains. It is also where most of the antioxidants are located.
For the best appearance, I like to use plums that are firm but just ripe as they will hold their shape. If you only have very ripe fruit, you can still use it, but it will fall apart.
More delicious recipes for you to try:
Love stone fruit as much as we do? Here are some more of our favourite recipes we recommend giving a try:
- Easy Plum Jam
- Apricot Jam
- Fresh Peach Chutney
- Peach and Plum Crumble
- Mini Plum Tarts
- Peach and Mint Smoothie
- Fresh Peach Salsa
You will enjoy the flavours in my Spiced Poached Plums. This is such a versatile dish; there are so many ways to enjoy the Plums. I like to serve them warm with my Vanilla Ice Cream, enjoying the juxtaposition of warm and cold. Serve them for breakfast with pancakes or waffles, or enjoy them simply with plain Greek yoghurt, the acidic tang of the yoghurt perfectly offsetting the sweet, spiced syrup and meltingly tender plums. Or, if you prefer a sweeter option, try with my Caramelised Yoghurt Cream.
I do hope you will try these Spiced Poached Plums. Please let me know in the comments below if you do.
This post was originally published in February 2019. It has been updated with new photos and more information. The recipe remains the same.
Spiced Poached Plums
- 12 medium-sized plums (just ripe) See Note 1
- 1 cup caster/superfine sugar See Note 2
- 1 tablespoon water See Note 3 and 4
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar See Note 4
- 3 whole star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 strips orange peel See Note 5
For accuracy, we recommend weighing your ingredients. This will produce the best results.
- Wash the plums well and cut them in half following the natural indentation in the plum. Remove the stone using the tip of a small, sharp knife.
- Combine the plums, sugar, water, balsamic vinegar, star anise, cinnamon sticks and orange peel in a medium-size saucepan over low-medium heat.
- Slowly bring to the boil, stirring gently, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Cover the saucepan and cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes or until the plums are soft and just cooked. The length of cooking time will depend on the ripeness of your plums. – See Note 6
- When cooked, remove the star anise, cinnamon and orange peel. Gently transfer the plums to a heatproof serving bowl to stop the plums from cooking further.
- Serve them warm, at room temperature or chilled with a little of the poaching liquid. Serve the Poached Spiced Plums with our Vanilla Ice Cream or Greek yoghurt. There are further serving suggestions in the section above the recipe.
- For textural contrast, serve with toasted slivered or flaked almonds.
- Plums come in a range of colours. My preference is for dark-skinned plums. When serving, they are more aesthetically pleasing and the vibrant colour of the skin contains more antioxidants. However, if only pale-skinned plums are available, these will also taste delicious.
- My preference is for caster/superfine sugar as it dissolves quicker than granulated sugar.
- I add just a little water to encourage them to release their natural juices and to stop them from catching whilst the sugar is dissolving.
- The Australian tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust your measurements if necessary.
- Remove strips of peel from the orange using a vegetable peeler, being careful to avoid the bitter, white pith.
- My plums were quite firm and they took 15 minutes to cook so you will need to time yours according to their ripeness. If yours are fully ripe, they may only take a few minutes.
- Please note, the nutritional information is based on this recipe serving four people. It does not include what it is served with. The nutritional information is an estimate only.
The nutritional information is an estimate only, and is derived from online calculators. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
These poached plums are delicious- served with vanilla ice cream bowl licking good😊
Hi Rosalie, thank you for your lovely comments on the Spiced Poached Plums. I am delighted that you enjoy them. 🙂
This is such an easy recipe. And so full of flavor. We loved these plums!
Hi Andrea, thank you for the lovely feedback. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the Poached Plums and appreciate you letting me know. 🙂
This turned out to be the prettiest dessert I’ve made so far! After seeing your photos, I made sure to get dark skinned plums because I wanted mine to look as gorgeous as yours and it did! I’m going out to get more plums tomorrow because I’m going to make this again!
Aww, you are so kind, Maddie – thank you! 🙂 I am so pleased you enjoyed this!
Absolutely delicious and so simple to make – not to mention gorgeous on your plate!
Hi Courtney, thank you for the lovely comments about our Spiced Poached Plums. I am delighted that you enjoyed them. 🙂
Cant wait to make this. As I have a huge amount of plums could you also make and freeze this recipe?
Yes, this should freeze nicely!
I am not sure if you have seen some of our other plum recipes, but these may be of interest to you also as you have a lot of plums:
* Easy Plum Jam (this will last for 12 months)
* Peach and Plum Crumble
* Mini Plum Tartlets
Wow! This is a gorgeous recipe. Bonus is my house smells amazing. Thank you.
Thank you, Kerry!!
So glad you like it 🙂
WOW!! This make my house smell so wonderful all day!! It’s been getting colder here and this was the perfect thing to make for after dinner! You’re right about using the darker skinned plums. It made the most gorgeous color!!
Melanie, this is one of my favourite ways to enjoy plums so I am thrilled that you, too, enjoyed it. The spices make it so appetising and the aroma is wonderful. Enjoy. 🙂
Simple and delicious – a dessert I will make again.
Thank you, Saif!
This was so delicious. I made it today! It was approved by my entire family! I am adding it to the rotation for sweet treats!! YUMMMM
That is great, Cindy!! Thank you so much for letting me know. Kind regards, Alex
I used the darker plums like you recommended and the color was gorgeous! The whole house smelled incredible which was a delightful treat too!
Hello Nicky, I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the Spiced Poached Plums. This is a great way to enjoy plums; I am looking forward to stone fruit season here in Australia. 🙂