Plum Crumble with Star Anise
The flavour of this Plum Crumble is enhanced with star anise, and vanilla. The juicy fresh plums cook gently with the spices and a little added sugar. They are then topped with a crisp and buttery crumble topping. The result is a sweet, fruity and gently spiced dessert. It is the perfect comfort food on a cold day. I love to eat it with a drizzle of double cream but you can also eat it with custard, which is probably more traditional, or with a good vanilla ice cream.
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Crumbles, or crisps as they are known in North America, are the perfect starting point for classic desserts and dessert-making in general. They are very quick and easy to make, can be produced a day ahead and are great either hot from the oven or at room temperature. Pretty much everyone seems to love them so they are guaranteed crowd-pleasers too.
If you like this recipe for Plum Crumble, you might also be interested in my recipes for Apple Crumble, which is probably the classic crumble, and Rhubarb Crumble. For something a bit different, you could also try my Rhubarb Crumble Cake! If crumble is not your thing, I also have a lot of other easy dessert recipes.
What you need to know about making Plum Crumble
- It is really easy! This is just about the easiest dessert recipe you can find.
- It can be made in advance. You can assemble the crumble up to step 7 and then cover and keep it in the fridge overnight. Then remove from the fridge around a couple of hours before you plan to start cooking it to allow it to return to room temperature. Then put it in the oven and cook for 35 minutes before serving.
- It is good hot or cold. I generally will aim to serve my crumbles hot. However, often there is some left over and I have found that actually room-temperature crumble is as good, or rather controversially perhaps even better than, hot crumble. If you have any left over crumble, you can cover it and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days. You either eat it cold, allow it to return to room-temperature or reheat in a microwave or in the oven. If you are reheating it in the oven, allow it to return to room-temperature, cover it with foil to prevent it burning and cook at 180 C, 400 F or Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.
- I love the flavour of star anise and vanilla in my Plum Crumble. However, you can leave either or both of these flavourings out if they do not appeal to you.
What sort of plums should you use?
You can use any type of fresh plums in this recipe. I use Victoria Plums as I have a very prolific tree in my garden. This is a great recipe to make in late summer or early autumn (fall) when plums are in season. However, plums freeze well so I will often freeze a few batches and use them for crumbles later on in the year. I wash the plums, cut them in half to remove the stones and then chop into large pieces. I then put crumble-sized portions into freezer bags and freeze until required. This makes crumble-making even easier!
Other plum recipes
If you have a seasonal over-supply of plums, I have a few other plum recipes. Plum Gin Liqueur is an easy and delicious way of capturing the flavour of fresh plums. Plum Jam and Plum Chutney are also a great way of using up all those delicious plums.
Recipe for Plum Crumble with Star AnisePrint
This easy Plum Crumble recipe is made from fresh plums, flavoured with vanilla and star anise, with a crisp, buttery topping.
- 1 kilo (2 lb) of fresh plums
- 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of ground star anise or 2 whole star anise pods
- 350 g (12 oz) plain flour
- 175 g (6 oz) butter or vegetable fat
- 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
- Flaked almonds
- Set your oven to 180 C, 400 F or Gas Mark 4.
- Wash your plums. Cut each one in half and remove the stone. Cut each of your plum halves into approximately three or four pieces.
- Put the chopped plums in a baking dish (20 cm x 28 cm). Sprinkle with the brown sugar.
- Add the vanilla extract and star anise to the plums. If you are using ground star anise sprinkle it over the plums. If you are using whole star anise seedpods add them to the dish. You will get a milder flavour if you are using the whole seedpods. You will also need to let people know that they are there!
- Next make the crumble topping. Put the flour and butter (or vegetable fat) in a bowl and “rub in” using your fingers, or use a food processor, until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Then stir in the caster sugar.
- Pour the crumble topping on top of the rhubarb.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 35 minutes.
- If you wish, you can sprinkle some flaked almonds on top of the crumble for the final 5 minutes that it is in the oven. They should get brown and toasted (but not burnt) if they are added at this stage.
Keywords: crumble, crisp, plums,
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