Exotic star anise

Spice Route: Exotic star anise

Star anise tastes as lovely as it looks … the exotic-looking spice adds a wonderful liquorice flavour to dishes

Illicium verum, commonly known as star anise, is an evergreen tree from China and North Vietnam that can grow up to 5 m in height. The dried, decorative seed pods are used to flavour dishes. Star anise extract is used to treat digestive troubles and is therapeutic in treating colic for babies.

Easy apple strudel

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Oven Temperature: 180°C


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Easy apple strudel


  • 4 sheets puff pastry
  • 125 ml butter, melted
  • 125 ml brown sugar
  • 1 tin pie apples
  • 125 ml raisins
  • 10 ml lemon zest
  • 30 ml brown sugar
  • 3 ml ground star anise
  • 5 ml ground cinnamon
  • 250 ml butterscotch sauce
  • Mint
  1. Brush each sheet of pastry with butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and layer them onto each other.
  2. In a bowl mix the apples, raisins, lemon zest, sugar, star anise and cinnamon together.
  3. Transfer the apples into the centre of the pastry and arrange so the apples run down the centre of the pastry.
  4. Roll the pastry around the apple and fold in the sides.
  5. Place onto a baking tray and bake until the pastry is golden and crisp.
  6. Serve warm with butterscotch sauce and mint.
Did you know? Star anise is an ingredient in Chinese five-spice powder.

© Gallo Images

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