Roasted Plums

Roasted Plums

So-called because they contain a large pit, or “stone,” in the center, stone fruits come to market in the late spring and summer. The more vibrantly colored they are, the more beneficial substances they contain—and in higher amounts. So favor the most intensely colored plums when you can.

This recipe works with any type of stone fruit, but plums go particularly well with the exotic flavor of star anise. You could also make these for a brunch and serve them over pancakes or layered in a parfait with yogurt and granola.–Dana Jacobi

LC A Plum Is A Plumcot Is A Pluot Is An Aprium? Note

“Dramatic looking.” “Absolutely the most stunning summer recipe.” “Sooo easy.” “Delivers a sophisticated flavor.” “So pretty over ice cream.” “No one can resist a pastry-free offering this pretty.” “I will be making this again and again.” That’s what folks are saying about these gorgeous crimson roasted plums strewn with star anise.

Speaking of plums, surely you’ve noticed some kinda kooky names attached to the plethora of plum-like creatures proliferating in produce aisles in recent years. Pluot. Plumcot. Aprium. Each of them are slightly different yet still largely the same in terms of being a cross of plums and apricots. In contrast to the rather tart tang of old-fashioned plum varieties, these new-fangled stone fruits have a sweet-tart flavor, notes author Dana Jacobi, yet they’re not quite as sweet as the sugar-loaded and low-acid pure plum varieties introduced in recent years. They’re all good in our book. Just different.

Roasted Plums

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
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  • Unsalted butter, for the baking dish
  • 8 ripe black plums, halved and pitted
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 8 star anise pods, crushed into pieces
  • Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, crème fraîche, or ricotta, for serving


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly butter a baking dish just large enough to hold the plum halves in a single layer.
  • 2. Arrange the plum halves, cut side up, in the prepared dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar even over the plum halves, then sprinkle with the star anise. Roast until the sugar has melted, the plums are warmed through, and the skins are just beginning to wrinkle at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how ripe your plums. Let the plums cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the baking dish.
  • 3. To serve, remove and discard the star anise. Scoop some ice cream into dessert bowls and arrange 2 plum halves on top or place 2 plum halves in a dessert dish and dollop with some whipped cream, crème fraîche, or ricotta. Spoon some of the crimson juices lingering in the baking dish over everything. Serve right away.

Recipe Testers Reviews

These plums are absolutely the most stunning summer recipe you will make—and for the least amount of effort. What is so beautiful about roasted fruit is the multiplier effect—the taste becomes more intense. The simplicity of the star anise and brown sugar delivers a much more sophisticated flavor. Don’t worry if your star anise is in pieces, it makes it easy to sprinkle them. You can use the recipe exactly as written with nice big plums or even pluots (I used a mixture). They are dramatic looking and great for dessert or breakfast, as no one can resist a pastry-free offering this pretty. I will be making this again and again until plums go away.

This recipe was sooo good and sooo easy. It's amazing how simple ingredients can make such transformations. I found really sweet black plums that were very juicy, which created the natural crimson sauce that looked so pretty over ice cream. The brown sugar added a nice touch. The star anise gave just enough spice without being overpowering. This method would be great with other stone fruits as well or even a combination. The plums needed about 20 minutes in the oven for the desired tenderness. They came out perfect.

This is a simple recipe that effectively allows the flavors of mid- to late- summer, and even early fall, shine through while allowing for a more upscale presentation than raw fruit eaten out of hand. I used black plums as specified, in a range from very ripe to not quite ripe. They were all easy to halve, but the not-quite-ripe ones pitted better. The ripe to very ripe ones did not look clean and pristine after the halving and pitting; rather, they looked flattened and dilapidated, which did not affect their delicious taste but did affect how I would present them. My plums were much juicier than those in the photo, and there was a puddle of delicious red juice in the bottom of my dish after roasting. There seemed to be too much sugar for the size of my plums, and I cut it down by 1/3. They were plenty sweet when fully roasted. The ripest of the plums were ready in 15 minutes. The anise aroma was lovely and grew with each increasingly long roasting time. The next ripest plums came out of the oven after 20 minutes, but it was the ones that were a bit underripe and then baked for 25 minutes that were the best of all, as they had the longest opportunity to pick up the flavor of the star anise. While the idea of cooling the plums and saving for later might be practical, the idea of eating them right away won out. This is good as more than just a vehicle for vanilla ice cream. While the idea of serving this as a dessert may be appealing to some, I think they would also be great as part of a special breakfast or brunch. They could be served with regular or Greek yogurt, either as a topping or stirred in. They could be topped with granola. Other things that could be tasty with these plums include softly whipped cream (either sweetened or unsweetened), mascarpone, crème fraîche, or sour cream. To enhance the depth of the sweetener, dark brown sugar might be an additional suggestion, as well as possibly enhancing the star anise flavor by infusing the sugar with the star anise pods first. 1 1/2 plums seemed to be the perfect serving size. My plums were not small, though this certainly could be done with the smaller Damson plums or red plums instead of black, or even yellow plums. I only used 2 teaspoons sugar. The plums were sweet and sprinkling on more felt like too much, since I knew they were going to roast for 15 minutes and thought they would seem sweeter after roasting, and the instructions said to serve them with ice cream or frozen yogurt. This felt to me like a recipe for showcasing ripe summer fruit, fruit that doesn't really need much to make it the star of the show. I could eat these regularly, and this recipe would be perfect to pull out when you're visiting friends in the summer and you've just gone to the farmers market, or you've been asked to make something when you're at your friend's beach house or country home or summer cottage and you're not quite sure what to do or what might go with whatever they're serving.

This was a great quick dessert that would be fantastic at the end of a heavy meal. The roasted spiced plums felt special and luxurious but not stodgy. I had to deviate a little from the recipe because the only plums I could find were tiny—it took 14 to fill a 9-inch baking pan. I thought I would be clever and save myself time by leaving the pits in and removing them after the plums were cooked. Rookie mistake. They weren't in the oven long enough to give up their grip on those pits, and I should've been a dutiful tester and removed them from the beginning. Don't be like me! But do make this recipe. It was only very slightly sweet, which made it perfect as a topping for ice cream. I had leftover plums the next morning on plain Greek yogurt, and together it was a little too tart, so I'll stick with ice cream next time. The spice is also very subtle, which surprised me given the amount of star anise. The plums didn't create a huge amount of syrup, which I think is why there was just a hint of spice. I'm not a huge licorice fan, so this was perfect for me. And at 25 minutes from start to finish, it was quick and easy (apart from my self-inflicted pit debacle). This is definitely going in the holiday menu arsenal!

I am giddy each summer when stone fruit are at their peak of ripeness. From apricots and plums to nectarines and peaches, sign me up. Roasting these summertime gems for a quick and easy dessert is one of the best ways to use these ripe seasonal fruits. That’s why I love this recipe for roasted spiced plums. The ripe black plums really don't need much tinkering with, but the sprinkling of sweet brown sugar and the spiciness from the star anise enhanced the loveliness of the roasted plums without masking their natural tastiness. My plums took about 20 minutes to get warmed through and perfectly roasted. I served them immediately with a dollop of crème fraîche, but I could also see vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or even creamy ricotta cheese working well as a topping. I love the warm pepperiness that the star anise gives the plums, but I could also see sprinkling the tops with ground cinnamon as an alternative spice. I love this easy yet decadent summertime dessert!


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  1. Plums are completely underappreciated, especially when roasted. Not only are the delicious, they will make your house smell AMAZING while being roasted. Also, the gorgeous color beats any food coloring. I love this. Funny thing, I just made roasted plum and five spice ice cream. Now I have to “do over” with star anise!

    1. Lianne, actually, the recipe instructs us to serve the roasted plums right away, and there’s a reason for that. In my experience with roasted stone fruits, I can tell you they’re going to suffer in terms of both taste and texture if refrigerated or frozen. Stone fruits, and especially plums, tend to be quite watery. They exude some of the moisture during roasting but they’re going to “weep,” or continue to release moisture, when refrigerated, rendering the roasted fruit rather soggy and mushy and watering down the lovely syrup. Also, cold mutes flavor, and so chilling the plums will make the already subtle flavor even less pronounced. Sorry to bring you bad news. If what you’re planning to do is use this recipe for entertaining and you want to make them ahead of time to save last-minute hassle, you can prep the plums and have them in the roasting pan ready to go before everyone arrives and then simply slide them in the oven when you sit down to dinner. Just be certain to set a timer so you don’t forget them!

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