BAKED PLUMS WITH STAR ANISE & COINTREAU CREAM
"ON THE FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS…
CINQUE SUSINE D’ORO"
The children were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads… Though, with a boozy orange cream, this one's really for the adults!
- 8 small plums – halved, stones removed
- 125g blackberries
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod – split lengthways, seeds scraped
- 4 star anise
For the Cream
- 200ml double cream
- 125g mascarpone
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 3 teaspoons Cointreau
- Zest of 1 orange
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Arrange the plums in a baking dish with the cut-sides up. Sprinkle over the sugar, and add the star anise, vanilla pod, and scraped-out vanilla seeds.
Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes before adding the blackberries. Shake the pan around as you do so, helping to coat the fruit in the poaching juice and melted sugar. Return to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the juice is rich, sticky, and the colour of red wine.
To make the Cointreau cream, combine the whipping cream and mascarpone in a bowl, along with the caster sugar. Whisk together until the cream forms soft peaks, then fold in the alcohol. Feel free to add a little more or little less depending on your taste. Three tablespoons adds bit of a boozy kick, but is not totally overwhelming.
To serve, spoon the plums and blackberries into a small bowl, drizzling extra sticky sauce over to coat. Dollop some of the cream on top, and sprinkle each dish with a pinch of orange zest.