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How to Make the Most of Plum Season

Plums are wonderful grilled, sautéed, poached, baked and broiled. They are also interchangeable in recipes that call for other stone fruit, so experiment. Here are some ideas and recipes for enjoying this season’s plum harvest.

Red Leaf Salad with Plums and Roasted Onion Dressing

Red Leaf Salad with Plums and Roasted Onion DressingPlums have a special meaning for me because my grandmother would sometimes serve an outrageously delicious plum cobbler with vanilla ice cream during the lazy, hazy Louisiana summers. We also ate plums out of hand, baked into pies and tarts and added to fruit salads. I can still hear my grandfather say, “I sure am plumb crazy ‘bout all these plums!”

Plum season generally runs from mid-May through early October, depending on climate and country. Most plum varieties are harvested and shipped to market while they are still firm. When selecting plums for best texture, look for heavy well-formed fruit that yields to gentle pressure. They should have a consistent exterior coloring too.

Plums are wonderful grilled, sautéed, poached, baked and broiled. They are also interchangeable in recipes that call for other stone fruit such as nectarines, peaches or apricots, so experiment. Here are some ideas and recipes for enjoying this season’s plum harvest:

  • Eat out of hand!

  • Chop and generously garnish ice cream, frozen yogurt or a non-dairy alternative.

  • Add to hot or cold cereal.

  • Add to smoothies and cold fruit soups.

  • Marinate, skewer, grill and serve. Baste with your favorite vinaigrette while grilling for extra flavor.

  • Enjoy with favorite cheese for a mid-day snack or dessert. Or, make Spinach Salad with Plums and Goat Cheese.  

  • Make Plum Crumble using crushed cookies and almonds in the topping.

  • Use fresh or dried in pancakes, waffles, muffins and quick breads. Or chop fresh and use as a topping. 

  • Add plums to green salads. This Red Leaf Salad with Plums and Roasted Onion Dressing is a winner with a hearty flavor and creamy dressing.

  • Mash fresh plums with a little lemon juice, raw sugar or honey and pinch of spice such as nutmeg or cinnamon; use as you would jam or jelly on biscuits, toast, French toast, scones and muffins.

  • Strawberry Shortcakes with Maple Syrup and Frozen Yogurt would be delicious made with plums.

  • Roughly chop and use in salsa recipes. Serve with grilled meats, fish, tempeh or tofu.

  • Make a simple parfait with plums for an easy snack or dessert.

  • Try Old-Fashioned Peach Cobbler made with fresh plums.

  • Dried plums (prunes) add flavor, chewiness and natural sweetness to baked goods, desserts, salads, main dishes, trail mixes, jams, jellies and preserves.

Are you plumb crazy about plums? What’s your favorite recipe?

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