Ingredients

  • 250 g tub mascarpone cheese
  • 500 ml carton chilled custard
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 12 amaretti biscuits
  • for the poached plums:
  • 150 ml red wine
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla pod (split in half and seeds scraped out)
  • 450 g ripe plums (halved, stoned and cut into slices)

Method

  • This stunning dessert will really make your guests impressed! However, it is actually extremely simple to prepare and can be done well in advance leaving you to enjoy your meal.
  • To poach the plums, place the wine in a pan with 150ml (1/4 pint) of water, the sugar, cinnamon, star anise and vanilla seeds. Slowly bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until reduced by half and syrupy in texture.
  • Add the plums to the wine mixture and simmer gently for another 2 minutes until softened but still holding their shape, stirring occasionally but being careful not to damage the plums. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
  • Place the mascarpone in a bowl with the custard and lemon rind. Whip until the mixture is just holding its shape and soft peaks have formed.
  • Divide the cooled poached plums among Martini glasses and crumble the amaretti on top, reserving a little for decoration. Spoon over the lemon mascarpone to cover completely and then sprinkle with the rest of the reserved amaretti. Chill for 2 hours before serving set on plates.