Sean Armstrong is the gorgeous kiwi bloke behind many a fabulous recipe and the amazing Loaf brand of baked goods. Here is Sean’s recipe for Caramel crumbs with plums and cream. Prepare to go weak at the knees!

Serves 6 (makes about 3 cups toffee crumbs)

 Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

These crumbs are a delicious way to use up surplus bread- it doesn’t matter if it is a little stale. The quantities here make way more crumbs than you need for this recipe but they keep well, stored in an airtight container or plastic bag. Use them over other stewed fruits (apples, pears, peaches, quinces for example) or sprinkle them over ice cream for a quick, mid-week dessert.

Ingredients:

Plums:

1.2kg firm, ripe freestone plums (about 1.2kg), halved and stoned

125ml (1/2 cup) rose or red wine

110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

 

Crumbs:

200g day old LOAF sourdough (about 4 x 1.5 cm slices), torn into small pieces

75g unsalted butter, chopped

220g (1 cup) caster sugar

 

Cinnamon cream:

300ml thickened cream

21/2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

1. For the plums, combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan, cover then place over medium – low heat. Cook, covered, for 25-30 minutes or until plums are tender and syrup has formed. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, for the toffee crumbs, preheat the oven to 180C. Spread the crumbs over the base of a roasting dish in a single layer then dot with the butter. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally so they brown evenly, or until the crumbs are deep golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and spread over a large dish or tray lined with baking paper. Place the sugar and 60ml (1/4 cup) water in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes or until a deep caramel colour. Working quickly and taking care as the caramel is very hot, drizzle the caramel over the golden crumbs on the baking paper. Stand for 1-2 minutes then, using a buttered knife to prevent the crumbs from sticking, stir to make sure they are evenly coated. Stand until cooled to room temperature. Break up the crumbs with your hands if necessary.

3 .For the cinnamon cream, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using electric beaters, whisk the mixture until soft peaks form. To serve, divide the plums among bowls then spoon over some of the cream. Scatter over some crumbs to taste (you will not need all the crumbs) then serve immediately.

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