Poached greengages, peaches and strawberries

Serves 4

This is the simplest dessert; it should be served very cold – we chill it in the freezer for an hour or two before serving so it's nearly icy. It slips down the throat, perfectly refreshing, a really nice end to a meal.

4 ripe white peaches
4 tbsp icing sugar
The juice of one lemon
12 ripe greengages
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthwise
1 tbsp rose water, optional
1 punnet ripe English strawberries

Split the peaches in half and place in a saucepan with the icing sugar and lemon juice. Place over a gentle, low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until they fall apart – this will take about 20 minutes. It should almost be a purée, with large chunks of whole peaches.

Remove from the heat and spoon into a bowl. Allow to cool completely then chill in the fridge for an hour or so. Do exactly the same to the greengages, adding the vanilla and sugar, and cooking gently until soft and falling apart. Remove, cool, add the rose water (if using), then freeze.

To serve, wash and gently pat dry the strawberries. Slice in half lengthwise. Divide the chilled peaches among four plates, spoon the greengages alongside, scatter the strawberries over and serve.

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