Poached plums


Difficulty:  Easy

Serves:  6 at home or 30 tastes in the classroom

Fresh from the garden:  plums, orange, lemon, verbena, edible flowers


  • vegetable peeler
  • chopping board & non-slip mat
  • cook’s knife
  • citrus juicer
  • metric measuring jug
  • very large saucepan or stockpot
  • spoon or melon baller
  • slotted spoon
  • serving plates

  • 1 L cold water
  • 500 g sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 16–20 plums, peeled
  • edible flowers, to garnish (optional)
  • 6 verbena leaves, to garnish (optional)
What to do

Set out your ingredients.

To make the syrup:

  • Pour the water into a very large saucepan.
  • Add the sugar and orange zest, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla bean.  Cook over low heat to dissolve the sugar then bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the flavours.

To prepare the plums:

  • Cut plums in half and scoop out the cores with a spoon or melon baller.
  • Using a slotted spoon, lower the plums into the simmering syrup. Once all the plums are in the pot, gently heat the pot to barely simmering.
  • Poach the plums until they are just soft when pierced with a knife, and then turn off the heat.
  • Leave the plums in the syrup to cool.
  • To serve, use the slotted spoon to lift the plums out of the pot and put one half in each bowl. (One pear half per person.) Decorate the plums with edible flowers and verbena leaves.
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