Roasted plums with bay leaf creme anglaise

August  5, 2010
3 Ratings
Author Notes

This an updated take on my grandmother's stewed prunes with cream, switching out the stewed prunes for roasted plums, as I've become quite enamored of the glorious warmth and flavor roasting will bring out in stone fruits. The bay flavoring in the creme anglaise has a subtle spiciness and sweetness. The idea to use bay instead of vanilla was inspired by a bay leaf flavored pudding I had, and which I was completely blown away by. - fiveandspice —fiveandspice

Test Kitchen Notes

Bay leaf, the humble workhorse of every cook's herb arsenal, finally gets its due -- in the form of a rich, barely sweet creme anglaise. Roasting the plums brings out their depth and fiery color. My favorite way to eat this was with warmed plums and a heap of cool creme anglaise melting on top. Note: If your plums are large, you may only need one per person. - Kristen —The Editors

  • Serves 6
  • Roast plums
  • 12 sweet plums of your favorite variety
  • 2 tablespoons packed, dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped, roasted hazelnuts (for topping)
  • Creme Anglaise
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 bay leaves (dried or fresh will work)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
In This Recipe
  1. First make the Creme Anglaise. In a small saucepan, bring cream, milk, ¼ cup of the sugar and bay leaves to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks and other ¼ cup sugar until well combined.
  3. In a slow, thin stream, whisk the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture.
  4. Scrape this back into your saucepan and return to low heat. Stir constantly until the custard thickens and the stirring spoon leaves a little trail (should just take a couple of minutes). Remove from heat and remove the bay leaves.
  5. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the crème and chill until ready to use. Strain before using.
  6. Next, roast the plums. Preheat your oven to 400F. Wash the plums, halve them and remove their pits.
  7. Lay the plums cut sides up in a baking dish and sprinkle the brown sugar over their surfaces. Bake for about 20 minutes until quite tender when pricked with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  8. . Divide the plums into 6 dessert bowls. Spoon the crème anglaise on top and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Enjoy!
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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.