Poached plums with cardamom

Pocherade plommon med kardemumma

Poached plums with cardamom

Good things don’t need to be complicated. Although this is something of a cliché, it is very true. This is a really simple dessert but it tastes fantastic and can be made with fresh or frozen plums although the shape and colour of frozen plums is not as attractive as fresh plums, the flavour is still superb.

Cardamom is a widely used spice in Swedish food. As well as using it to add flavour to poaching liquids, it is used to scent dough and as a flavouring in drinks. Apparently the Scandinavians are second only to the Arabs in their hunger for cardamom! (To read more about how cardamom is used in Swedish cooking click here.) John Duxbury


Recipe summary for poached plums with cardamom


•  If you are lucky enough to have your own plum tree, stone and halve the surplus and pop them in the freezer, so that you can poach some during the winter for a quick and tasty dessert.

•  Freshly ground cardamom has a better flavour than commercially ground cardamom.


5   green cardamom pods
250 ml (1 cup) water
110 g (½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
8-16   ripe plums (any variety), halved and stoned



1. Lightly crush the cardamom pods, remove the seeds and crush them with a pestle and mortar.

2. Make the poaching liquid by combining the ground cardamom, water and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan, stirring over a medium-low heat until all the sugar has dissolved.

3. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes until you have a slightly syrupy poaching liquid.

4. Add the plums, cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes until the plums are tender. Leave to cool slightly.

Serving suggestion

Serve the plums when still warm with some crème fraîche and some almond thins.


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