Plums are in season, with local markets offering them under simple names such as black, red and golden plums. But your grandmother’s fruit orchard might have featured Damson, a favorite European variety. European plums are oblong, while Asian plums are round.
When you’re selecting plums, a ripe one held in the palm of your hand will feel heavy. When you gently apply pressure, it should yield to the touch.
If you selected plums that need to ripen a little more, place them in a paper bag on the counter. After few days at room temperature, they should ripen. Check them often so they don’t get too soft.
Once ripe, transfer plums to the refrigerator for up to three days. Plums do not sweeten after being picked, but they will soften.
Plums are low in calories. One cup has 76 calories and 12 grams of fiber. They are a good source of vitamins C, A and K.
In the kitchen, expand your culinary choices. Consider grilling or roasting plums. When I was growing up, our tree yielded a mystery variety that made the best plum jam in a beautiful burgundy color.
You can blend plums and spread out the mixture in a dehydrator to make fruit leather. Dehydrated plums are prunes. As for me, I plan to select a variety of plums for Rumtopf, a German speciality of fruit preserved in rum.
Plum Frozen Custard
Source: Chef Scotty. Yield: 4 servings
4 bananas, sliced and frozen
2 plums, pit removed
4 Medjool dates-pitted
Remove pits from plums and dates and discard. Add plums and dates to a high-speed blender. Blend on high until smooth. Add bananas and process on high until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.
Laurie Burgess is a WSU Clark County Extension Master Food Preserver. For additional recipes, food preservation and food safety information visit http://ext100.wsu.edu/clark/?p=8163. Have questions? Call MFP Helpline at 564-397-5366.