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Greengage season is upon us and this is just another delicious way to celebrate them.
1kg firm ripe greengages
125ml white wine 110g (½ cup) caster sugar
1 star anise
200g day-old loaf of bread (sourdough works well) torn into small pieces
75g unsalted butter, roughly diced
200g caster or raw cane sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
a couple of drops of vanilla extract
300ml cream, lightly whipped
2 Tbsp icing sugar
Begin by poaching the greengages. To do this, put the wine, sugar and star anise in a medium-sized pot. Bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar, reduce the heat to simmer and place the greengages into this syrup. Gently poach for 10 minutes or until tender. The skins will flake off a little and if you like you can peel them off when cool.
Meanwhile, to make the crumbs, preheat the oven to 180degC.
Spread the torn breadcrumbs over the base of a roasting dish in a single layer then dot with the butter. Bake the crumbs until they are deep golden in colour and crisp (20 minutes). Remove from the oven and spread over a large baking tray lined with baking paper.
Place the sugar and cup water in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes (do not stir) or until you get a rich, caramel colour.
Carefully pour over the crumbs, using a fork to toss the crumbs over in the toffee to coat them well. Sprinkle with a little ginger powder and cool.
When cool, separate. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. Whip the cream with vanilla and icing sugar until thickened.
To serve: Place the poached greengages and a little syrup in a bowl, add a generous spoonful of cream and sprinkle with the toffee crumbs.