Greengages are a sweet and juicy type of dessert plum that range in colour from yellow to dark-green, and can be speckled with burgundy. They have a soft, delicate, aromatic flesh that are best appreciated raw.
They have a very short season in August and September. When bought from shops and markets, it’s impossible to tell until you bite into it whether it is ripe or not. They are worth poaching and freezing for later in the year, if not store at room temperature and eat as soon as possible after purchase.
If cooking with greengages, crème fraîche or Greek-style yoghurt will enhance their natural sweetness. Vanilla and almond will complement their flavour in a pie, crumble or sponge. Or if you want to turn it into a preserve, add lemon juice to help them set.
If you want to give greengages a try, this Steamed Plum Sponge with Cinnamon Custard recipe from BBC’s James Martin should have you heading out on the hunt for greengages.
For more information on the plums, there’s an article featured in The Independent.