Plum and Rhubarb Crumble with Star Anise & Vanilla

Plum and Rhubarb Crumble with Star Anise & Vanilla

The flavour of freshly ground star anise is vital for this soul-warming dessert, you will need grind it to a powder. Use a coffee/spice grinder or use a pestle and mortar or a small food processor, pass through a sieve if there are hard chunks.

Serves8 Origin Fusion
Preparation 15 min Heat rating (No heat)
Cooking 1h Ease (Easy)
Vegetarian Yes


1 tsp Star Anise, organic
1kg dark plums
600g rhubarb
1 vanilla pod
200-220g soft brown sugar
Juice of 1 orange
Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
200ml crème fraîche, vanilla ice cream or custard for serving

For the crumble
380g plain flour, sifted, plus extra to dust
100g ground almonds
1 tsp salt
100g caster sugar, plus extra to dust
200g cold butter, cut into cubes


Preheat the oven to 160C.
Quarter the plums, discarding the stones, and put in a bowl. Trim off and discard the rhubarb leaves, cut the stalks into 3cm-long segments and add to the plums. Cut the vanilla pod along its centre, scrape out the seeds and add both seeds and pod to the fruit. Add the ground star anise, sugar and orange juice to the bowl, and mix together with your hands. Transfer the contents of the bowl to a medium-large, ovenproof dish, then push down to create a more or less even surface.
Now make the topping. In an electric mixer pulse the flour, ground almonds, sugar, salt and butter for a course breadcrumb texture.
Put the crumble topping evenly over the fruit. Lightly pat down.

Bake for an hour. It could take a bit less or a little longer, depending on the fruit. It's ready when the fruit is hot and bubbly, and the topping golden and cooked through. Serve warm, with crème fraîche.

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