Tons & Tons of PLUMS

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Tons & Tons of PLUMS…..

Do You Have Tons & Tons of Plums and need ideas on what to do with them?

Hopefully this will help. Let’s start with some Basics:

 

Plum sweetness wrapped in party-dress colors of red, yellow, green or purple-black skin combined with juicy flesh, smooth textured like deep-pile velvet.

Sweet, but with an irresistible tart flavor edge. Flowery fragrant.

Plums have been cultivated since prehistoric times, longer perhaps than any other fruit except the apple,

so it’s not surprising that other definitions for plum are:

    • any desirable object, something that is the best of a collection
    • A plum-great day,
    • a plum assignment
    • a plum-good plum.

Plum varieties are harvested at varying times during the season, so the contents available varieties are constantly changing.

“black” plums could be Blackamber plums in late June,

Friar or Angeleno in late July or August

The “red” plums can be Red Beauts in May,

later in the season Santa Rosa, Fortune or Royal Diamond plums.

But there are hundreds of varieties, in shapes and sizes that range from small round marbles to heart-shaped mangoes, plus new fruits that are crosses between plums and apricots, such as Pluots and Apriums, so you can search out the ones you like the best.

Some supermarkets, farmers markets and health-food groceries offer several choices, and they can all be great for eating out of hand or cooking into a sweet or savory concoction.

It’s important to know just how to select and store plums, so you maximize their luscious flavors.

Buying and storing:

 If you’re buying plums to eat right away, they should be soft enough to give to gentle palm pressure (but not squishy-soft), and they should have a sweet aroma. Avoid skin that’s shriveled or bruised.

If you’re buying for later use, buy firmer fruit (see brown-bag ripening). Look for full color.

If it’s a red plum, most of plum should be red; if it’s a black plum, the surface should be almost entirely black.

Never put firm plums in the refrigerator.

According to the California Tree Fruit Agreement (an association of peach, plum and nectarine growers):

chilling un-ripened plums can cause “internal breakdown,” flesh that is dry, mealy and/or flavorless.

Once fruit is soft and gives to gentle palm pressure, it can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Keep fruit away from the windowsill.

Setting fruit in or near direct sunlight can cause it to shrivel.

Easy brown-bag ripening:

To ripen:

  • place firm plums in paper bag
  • Loosely close top and keep at room temperature for a day or two
  • As plums ripen, they give off ethylene. The paper bag traps the ethylene close to the plums, while still allowing for exchange of air into and out of the bag. Plastic bags will not work correctly and can cause “off-flavors” in fruit.

A gauzy gray jacket, no problem:

The pale, silvery-gray coating on a plum’s skin is natural and doesn’t affect taste. A good rinse with cold water and it’ll be ready to eat.

Parlay those delectable plums into pies or salads, cakes, drinks or savory entrees

 

  • Plum Jam
    without added pectin

Yield: About 8 half-pint jars

  • 2 quarts chopped tart plums (about 4 pounds)
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1½ cup water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning.

If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure:

  • Sterilize canning jars.
  • Combine all ingredients;
  • bring slowly to boiling, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.
  • Cook rapidly to, or almost to, the jellying point (which is 8°F above the boiling point of water, or 220°F at sea level).
  • Stir constantly to prevent sticking or burning. (See Testing Jelly Without Added Pectin.)
  • Pour hot jam into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace.
  • Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel;
  • adjust two-piece metal canning lids.
  • Process in a Boiling Water Canner.
Table 1. Recommended process time for Plum Jam in a boiling water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 – 1,000 ft 1,001 – 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Half-pints
or Pints
5 min 10 15

     

 

  • almond and plum cake
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) sunflower or vegetable oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) almond meal or almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) half-and-half or whole milk
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 7 to 9 plums (any variety), halved and pitted but not peeled
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Lightly oil an 8- or 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess.

In a large bowl, whisk together the

  • flour,
  • almond meal,
  • baking powder,
  • and salt.

In a separate bowl, combine the

  • oil,
  • egg,
  • half-and-half,
  • lemon juice and zest,
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sugar,
  • and the almond extract.
  1. Whisk to blend thoroughly.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Arrange the plum halves, cut side up, on top of the batter.

In a bowl, combine the

  • almonds,
  • the 2 tablespoons sugar,
  • and the butter and
  • mix well.
  • Dot the almond topping over the cake.

Bake the cake until the topping is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

(If using an 8-inch pan, you may need to bake it longer, being careful to cover the outer edges of the cake with a strip of foil if they begin to brown.)

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes.

Remove the ring from the pan and place the cake on a serving platter.

Cut into wedges and serve warm or, if you can wait, at room temperature.

 

  • Plum Crumble

Serves 6

Hands-On Time: 10m

Total Time: 1hr 10m

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 8 to 10 ripe plums, pitted and quartered
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Place the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and combine.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of the butter and combine with a pastry cutter or 2 forks until it reaches a crumble.
  5. Add the nuts.
  6. Place the plums in the dish and top with the crumble.
  7. Dot with the remaining butter.
  8. Bake about 1 hour or until golden.

 

  • plum tarts

Total Time: 1 hr 5 min
Prep 10 min
Inactive 10 min
Cook 45 min
Yield: 1 (9 1/2-inch) tart

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 pounds firm, ripe Italian prune plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Combine the flour, walnuts, and sugar in a large bowl.
  • Add the butter and the egg yolk.
  • Mix, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until crumbly.
  • Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch springform or tart pan.
  • Arrange the plums in the pan, skin side down, to form a flower pattern; begin at the outside and work your way in.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the plums.
  • Bake the tart for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it’s lightly browned and the plum juices are bubbling.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the pan and transfer the tart to a flat plate.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

  • Easy Way to Freeze and Store Plums

Keep the fresh flavor of ripe summer plums to enjoy later in the year by simply freezing them. Freezing is also a great way to set aside ripe plums to cook in bake goods or turn into jam when you have more time. This same method works for freezing apricots, pluots, peaches, and nectarines, too.

Tip: Use wedges of frozen plum as “ice cubes” in iced tea, lemonade, or any other drink that could use a hit of plummy

  • Halve, pit, and peel however many plums you want to freeze.
  • Cut the plums into wedges or however you think you’ll want to use them later

(slices or cubes are good; or you can leave them as halves, if you like).

  • Lay the peeled and cut plums on baking sheets in a single layer.
  • Put the trays in a freezer until the plums are frozen through;

this will take anywhere from several hours to overnight depending on your freezer and how thick the plum pieces are.

  • Transfer the frozen plums to re-sealable plastic bags or other air-tight container(s).
  • Keep, frozen, until ready to use – up to six months.

Note: If using frozen plums to make jams or cook into a pie, there is no need to defrost the plums first – just start cooking with the frozen plums!

 

  • Plum Clafouti

fills the house with a cinnamon aroma. A delicious plum dessert, dusted with icing sugar

  • PREP 10 mins
  • COOK 1 hr
  • READY IN 1 hr 10 mins
  • Ingredients

    Original recipe makes 8 servings

    • 6 tablespoons white sugar, divided

    • 14 Italian prune plums, halved and pitted

    • 3 eggs

    • 1 1/3 cups milk

    • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

    • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

    • 2 teaspoons vanilla

    • 1 pinch salt

    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

    Directions
    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    2. Butter a 10 inch pie plate, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the bottom.
    3. Arrange the plum halves, cut side down, so that they cover the entire bottom of the pie plate.
    4. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top of the plums.

    In a blender, combine

    • the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar,
    • eggs,
    • milk,
    • flour,
    • lemon zest,
    • cinnamon,
    • vanilla,
    • and salt.

    Process until smooth, about 2 minutes.

    Pour over the fruit in the pan.

    Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and lightly browned.

    Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

    Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

     

    • Plums in Honey Syrup

    This is a very simple recipe, but uses up quite a lot of plums, which can be kept for months and then either eaten as they are or used in a recipe.

    • simply cut the plums in half and take the stones out,
    • then packed them tightly into the 500ml sterilized jars, adding a cinnamon stick and one-quarter of a vanilla bean pod.
    • dissolve 1-1/2 cups of manuka honey in 4 cups of water in a small pan on the stove,
    • bring to the boil and poured it into the jars of plums, leaving 2cm of space at the top.
    • put the lids on and tightened them and processed the jars in the water bath for 30 minutes. 
    • put up in the pantry.

     

    • Pickled Plums

    This pickled plums recipe is delicious with cold game pies as well as any cold meats and poultry. Small red plums, damsons or greengages should be used in this pickled plums recipe as their tartness and firmer flesh makes them more suitable than dessert varieties

    Ingredients for the Pickled Plums Recipe

    • 1lb Small Plums
    • 1 Small Piece Ginger, bruised
    • 1/2pt Distilled White Vinegar
    • 8oz Sugar
    • 4 Cloves
    • 1/2 Lemon Rind
    • 1 Cinnamon Stick
    To Prepare the Pickled Plums Recipe
    • Wash and dry the plums and remove the stalks.
    • Prick the fruit all over with a darning needle and place in a pan.
    • Cover with vinegar and add the sugar.
    • Tie the lemon rind and the spices in a piece of muslin and add to the pan.
    • Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved completely, then bring to the boil.
    • Reduce the heat and simmer very gently until the fruit is tender, but do not let the skins break.
    • Remove the fruit with a perforated spoon and pack into warm, sterilized jars.
    • Discard the muslin
    • Boil the liquid rapidly for 5 minutes then pour immediately over the plums and cover the jars at once.
    • Keep for at least 1 month before eating.

    This gorgeous pickled plums recipe is so simple and makes a great Christmas present.

    Using all the plums too small for eating and bottled in parfait jars these little beauties, if made in autumn will be ready for the festive season.

     

    • plum brandy

    Ingredients & Directions:

    • 1 pint of spirit,
    • 1lb plums (keep them whole but prick them all over with a pin)
    • 8oz sugar. Some like to vary with demerara
    • Put all ingredients in to a wide mouthed container that can be sealed. ie: kilner type jar.
    • Shake every day for 3 days.
    • Store in a dark place for 2 months, or longer – test it every few weeks.
    • Strain through muslin, bottle , seal and label.

     

    • Plum gin – won’t be ready until Christmas if made in August

    Ingredients & Directions:

    • 1 demijohn
    • 1 bottle of cheap gin
    • 1 lb. plums
    • 1 lb. sugar
    • Combine & put a rubber bung in
    • Shake every day until the sugar dissolves
    • Then leave until Christmas
    • Strain & bottle (don’t use anything metal)
    • You WILL enjoy your plums at Christmas

     

    “When the fruit flies descend on your summer plums that are sitting so prettily in a bowl on the counter,

    you know they are ripe enough to use for chutney or jam.

    (TMI for a cooking blog ? Oh, dear, you must get over it! Fruit flies don’t circle around unripe fruit, do they? Case closed.)”

    I found it over at: Shockingly Delicious by Dorothy Reinhold  & she found it over at:

     Chocolates & Dreams, where Rituparna, a passionate cook from Delhi, India, has been blogging since 2009.

    Her Plum Chutney is the winning solution!

    This is the way her mom makes it, a traditional Bengali way, for those who like a tangy chutney.

    I made a few alterations to suit myself (less sugar, less pepper, all of the ginger not just the juice, a tiny bit of vanilla, etc.).

    It’s easy, and goes to show you that really, truly, all you need is some super-ripe summer stone fruit and you can have wonderful chutney or jam in less than half an hour.

    Preparation time: 5 minutes
    Cooking time: 15 minutes
    Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian
    Diet tags: Reduced fat, Gluten free
    Number of servings (yield): 6
    Culinary tradition: Indian (Eastern)

    Summary:

    A lightly gingery, peppery plum chutney makes the most of summer’s best stone fruits.

    Serve with roasted meats, or eat on toast as jam.

    Ingredients
    • 8-9 ounces ripe plums (250 grams; 2 large plums or 3-4 small/medium plums)
    • ½ cup water
    • ½ cup sugar
    • Pinch of kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
    • A few grinds black pepper (she uses ½ teaspoon but that would be a lot for American taste buds!)
    • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Wash and cut the plums into quarters, discarding the pit. Leave the skin on.
    2. Slice plums roughly into a small, heavy saucepan.
    3. Add water and bring to a boil.
    4. When it boils, add sugar, salt, ginger, black pepper and vanilla (if using).
    5. Let it boil for another 7-10 minutes, uncovered, and stirring occasionally.
    6. Adjust heat so it won’t boil over. The consistency will be like liquid jelly.
    7. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

    Rituparna says,

    “Enjoy on its own or with almost anything you want to pair it with, from spreading it over a piece of toast to

    mixing it with rice at the end of the meal, which is the traditional Bengali form of eating it.

    Mixing with cooked rice is like a tangy finish to a delicious meal.

    The desserts come later.

    You can also try having it with tortilla chips.

    We traditionally serve it with fried papad. It is delicious that way.”

    Source

    Adapted from Chocolates & Dreams

     

     

    • Plum Cobbler

    Equipment

    • 2 litre or 3½ ovenproof dish

    Oven Temperatures

    preheated oven, 190C 375F GM5

    Ingredients

    • 1kg or 2¼ lb. plums, stoned and sliced before weighing
    • 100g or 3½ oz. caster sugar
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 250g or 9oz plain flour
    • 75g or 2¾ oz. granulated sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 150m or ¼ pint buttermilk or soured cream
    • 75g or 2¾ oz. butter
    • double cream to serve

    Instructions

    1. Lightly grease dish.
    2. In a large bowl mix together plums, caster sugar, lemon juice and 25g or 1oz of the plain flour.
    3. Spoon the coated plums into the bottom of the prepared dish.
    4. Combine the remaining flour, granulated sugar and baking powder in a bowl.
    5. Add the beaten egg, buttermilk and cooled melted butter.
    6. Mix everything gently together to form a soft dough.
    7. Place spoonful’s of the dough on top of the fruit mixture until it is almost covered. (Little gaps look nice and let steam escape.)
    8. Bake in a preheated oven, 190C375F GM5 for about 35-40 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
    9. Serve pudding piping hot with double cream.

     

    • Chinese Duck (Plum) Sauce

    Chinese duck sauce is made with plums, apricots, sugar, and spices.

    It is a condiment served with duck, chicken, pork, and spareribs.

    It is also often referred to as plum sauce.

    This delicious sauce is quite easy to make at home, but plan ahead as it needs to sit for 2 weeks before using.

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

    Yield: 2 pints

    Ingredients:
    • 1 pound plums, halved and pitted
    • 1 pound apricots, halved and pitted
    • 1 cup cider vinegar
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 cup cider vinegar
    • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1 cup white granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup peeled and chopped ginger
    • 1 small onion, sliced thin
    • 1 serrano chile, or more to taste, seeded and chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves sliced
    • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 Tablespoon toasted mustard seeds
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    Preparation:

    Place plums, apricots, 1 cup cider vinegar, water, and balsamic vinegar in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

    Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
    Place

    • 1 cup cider vinegar, brown sugar, white sugar, and lemon juice in a separate saucepan.
    • Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly, and let bubble for 10 minutes.
    • Let cool for 5 minutes.
      • Add brown sugar mixture to the fruit, along with
      • ginger,
      • onion,
      • chile,
      • garlic,
      • salt,
      • mustard seeds,
      • and cinnamon stick.
    • Simmer for 45 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick.
    • Pour mixture into a food processor or heavy-duty blender and puree until smooth. You many need to do this in batches.
    • Return to the saucepan and simmer until thickened.
    • Place duck sauce in a sterilized canning jar.
    • Cap loosely and let cool to room temperature.
    • Tighten cap and store in a cool, dark place at least 2 weeks before using.
    • Serve as a condiment with duck, chicken, pork, and spareribs.

     

    • plum compoteYou can put it over vanilla ice cream.
    • with red wine,
    • cinnamon,
    • brown sugar,
    • and cloves.

     

    • Plum upside down cake

    Look for plums that are even in color and plump, yielding gently to pressure.

    Stay away from fruit with wrinkled or broken skin or extremely soft spots.

    Ingredients

    • 9 tablespoons (1 stick, plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 4 red plums (about 1 pound), halved and pitted, each cut into 12 wedges
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
    • Whipped cream, (optional)

    Directions

    1. Step 1

      Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place 3 tablespoons butter in an 8-inch round cake pan; melt in preheating oven, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle melted butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar. Arrange overlapping plum wedges in a circle around edge of pan; repeat in center, covering bottom of pan. Set aside.

    2. Step 2

      In a large bowl, beat together remaining 6 tablespoons butter, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and egg. Beat in sour cream until blended. Set aside.

    3. Step 3

      In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin-pie spice, and walnuts. Stir flour mixture into sour-cream mixture until just combined (batter will be thick).

    4. Step 4

      Spread batter evenly over plums. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pan; invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream if desired.

     

    • German Plum Cake Kuchen

    This is a nice recipe that exposes the slices of plums.

    A Sponge cake texture and the hint of lemon gives a nice balance to the sweetness. .

    Thanks to Heike Krueger for sharing this recipe

    NOTE: Our family likes our cakes less sweet. So I have given the option to use more or less sugar.

    Ingredients:
    1 stick of butter ( 125 grams)
    3 eggs
    3/ 4 – 1 cup (100 grams) sugar.
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (200 grams) AP flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    Lemon juice from 1 lemon , 1/4 cup
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    6- 8 Plums depending on size, sliced and

    optional for topping:
    Cinnamon
    Sugar

    Garnish:
    Powdered sugar

    If you need to see the pictures, please visit this link

    Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F

    Assemble your ingredients
    I used here a 10 inch glass baking dish. If you use a smaller dish use less of the batter,
    or the plums will sink too deep when baked and not be exposed.

    Cream the butter well, add the eggs and blend.
    Add the sugar and blend well.

    Add the Flour a little at a time.then the lemon juice and blend.

    Add the vanilla and blend

    Butter the pan and sprinkle flour in it to make a non stick surface.

    Ready for Fruit Be sure it is only about 1/2 inch high with batter.

    Too much batter will rise high and cover the fruit.

    I put about 1/2 inch of batter into the pan.
    If your pan is smaller than 10 1/ 2 inch then, put less batter in, or your apples will cover.

    Just lay the plums on top of the batter.

    Here is an alternate way to do it.
    If the plums are not sweet you can sprinkle sugar on top and cinnamon.

    Bake for 40 to 50 minutes in an 350 degree oven until a toothpick comes out clean.

    This worked well the fruit looks like it is snuggled into the batter.
    I have had some that the fruit gets covered up too much.

    Sprinkle with powdered sugar

    More Recipes and Links

    More Kuchen Recipes

    Plum Kuchen Pizza Style

     

    • drying

    Remember that once you dry a Plum it’s name changes & it becomes a Prune!

    Have you ever wanted to make your very own prunes but you didn’t know how to?

    This section will help you learn how. Also give some ideas to use this wonderful dried fruit.

    There are 3 common ways to dry plums:

    1. Sun Dried

    2. Oven-Dried

    3. With A Food Dehydrator

    1. Sun Dried:

    Ingredients

    • plums
    • potassium sorbate as a preservative
    1. Pick a few plums you can pick as many as you want but choose the amount wisely or you might not know what to do with them if you pick too many
    2. Place plums on a cooling rack in a baking sheet. This will allow air to circulate around them speeding up the process. For an extra measure cover the plums with cheesecloth so insects can’t get to them.
    3. Let them dry out in the sun
    4. Wait 3-4 weeks for them to dry.
    5. After they have dried out sufficiently, slice into the dried plum and remove the pit or stone. Then when you go to eat them they are completely ready.
    6. Take them in and lay them on a medium sized plate
    7. spray them with potassium sorbate (the preservative}
    8. Wait 2 and a half hours for the preservative to dry
    9. Enjoy your fresh prunes

    Tips

    • In the event you end up with too many prunes here are some nice ways to use them: in beef stew or meat sauces and gravies. They have a wonderful dark flavor which compliments beef nicely.
    • If making a fruit salad, all stone fruit pare excellently together, the prunes could then be chopped coarsely and sprinkled on top – much like raisins.
    • Prunes have an excellent flavor profile and can be utilized in such a variety of ways that you should experiment with them.
    • If using with chicken or pork, rely on the sweet quality by paring the prunes with a reduction of apple or orange juice.
    • you can put them in the refrigerator for 5 minutes for a cooled prune

    2. Oven-Dried

    This is for using a large bowl of Quetsch plums. It’s a variety commonly grown in Alsace and is most often used to make tarts, plum brandy and Slivovitz. Martha Stewart had given this a whirl some years ago, but this is for purer flavours.

    The resultant dried plums can be used for sweet or savoury dishes.

    Tips

    Any plum variety can be used but they need to be firm, not squishy, or they will disintegrate.

    The addition of salt might seem strange, but it will intensify the flavour and helps with preservation.

    Ingredients

    • 2kg\4-5lbs of Plums
    • 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
    • 1 level teaspoon of salt
    • 1 level teaspoon of coarsely grated black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon of raspberry vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil

    Tools of the Trade

    • Baking sheets\trays
    • Baking paper\parchment to line the trays

    Method

    Cut the plums into quarters lengthwise, removing the stone\pit and place in a bowl.

    Beat the salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar together in a warmed bowl until the salt and sugar have almost disolved, then add the sunflower oil. Pour the mixture over the plums and toss thoroughly until all are coated.

    Arrange the plums, skin side down and spaced apart, in a single layer on the lined baking sheets and dry in a warm oven, 120°C\250°F gas mark ½ for 3-4 hours. Open the oven from time to time to release moisture. Turn the oven off and leave the plums in the oven for 8 hours or overnight. The plums will shrink, but will still be moist. Store the plums in an air-tight jar.

    Suggestion

    Replace the sugar with honey. A herb honey would be particularly good.

     

    3. With A Food Dehydrator

    Dried plums are a nutrient dense, tasty, healthful snack that can also be used as a cooking or baking ingredient.

    Dried plums provide potassium, soluble and insoluble fiber, phytonutrients, or phytochemicals, which function as antioxidants, and some iron and Vitamin A. Due to their soluble and insoluble fiber, dried plums can help promote good digestive health.

    Making dried plums is easy with a food dehydrator.

    The steps to make dried plums are similar to that of other dried fruit.

    Follow these steps to make dried plums:

    Preparation:

    • Cut the plums lengthwise into pieces about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
    • Use toothpicks to pierce the plum’s skin several times. This will aid in the drying process.

    Drying:

    • Place the plums skin side down on the drying trays.
    • Parchment paper or non-stick drying sheets can be used to line the dehydrator’s trays.
    • Dry the plums for up to 18 to 20 hours or until the plums feel dry and leathery.

     

    • Chinese Plum Sauce

    Ingredients:

    • 8 cups of blood plums, chopped and stoned (1.6kg before chopping & stoning)
    • 1 cup of onions, diced
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 3/4 cup castor sugar
    • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves

    • First, cut up the plums and took the stones out.  This is a very “juicy” business, so it’s a good idea to have an old and very absorbent table cloth or towel underneath the chopping board, as well as having paper towels on hand to mop up the juice every two or three plums.
    • Eight cups of chopped plums fills two large jugs.  So, knowing this, next time I won’t bother with the measuring cup.
    • Next, washed the jars and lids in hot, soapy water and rinsed them well. 
    • Then put all the jars and other equipment into the hot water bath and brought it to the boil for at least ten minutes.
    • Put the plums, onions, garlic, ginger and water in a big pot, covered it and brought it to the boil. 
    • reduce heat and simmer until the plums and onions were very tender (about 30 minutes). 
    • After the plums & onions become nice and soft, strained them. 
    • This can be done in two stages, first through a colander to get out all the bigger lumps, and then through a strainer. 
    • It seems like twice the work, but makes the strainer part a lot quicker and easier.
    • Return the sauce to the stove in a clean pan and added the sugar, vinegar, coriander seeds, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. 
    • put the lid on and brought it to the boil and then reduced the heat to a high simmer with the lid off until it has reduced to about half its volume and the consistency of apple sauce
    • Using sterile tongs, take all the jars, lids, ladle and funnel out of the hot water bath and stand them on clean paper towel.

    *NOTE that the  wide-mouthed funnel used for the jams will not fit into these smaller jars*

    • Time to start ladling! 

    The quantities of this recipe almost filled four of these 300ml jars.

    • Once the jars are filled, put the lids on quite tight and processed three of them in the hot water bath for 30 minutes.
    • take them out to cool, listen for the little buttons on the lids to pop down as they vacuum-seal.
    • put the fourth jar in the fridge to use straight away.
    • After the jars have cooled and checked that they were vacuum-sealed, put the labels, covers and ribbons on them. 

     

    can be used with all sorts of dishes.

    example:

    • marinate some pork spare ribs
    • use some of the sauce on rice and peas
    • as a dipping sauce with some home-made spring rolls
    • having it on roast duck

     

    • Oven-Roasted Plum Cakes

    Yield: 12 servings

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus melted butter for greasing cups
    • 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar, divided use
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon minced orange zest (colored part of peel)
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 cup buttermilk
    • 6 large ripe plums, halved and pitted

    Preliminaries: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat insides of 12 8- to 9-ounce custard or soufflé cups with melted butter and set on jellyroll pan (baking sheet with sides); reserve.

    1. Working with electric mixer fitted with flat paddle attachment or with hand-held mixer, cream

    • butter,
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar and granulated sugar together on medium speed 3 minutes.
    • Scrape down sides of bowl and continue beating 3 minutes more, or until sugar is dissolved and mixture whitens.
    • Add 1 egg, increase speed to high and beat about 30 seconds.
    • Scrape down sides.
    • Add second egg and beat 30 seconds.
    • Add zest and vanilla; beat on high until incorporated, about 30 seconds more.

    2.Reduce speed to low and add

    • flour and baking soda; beat 15 seconds.
    • Pour in buttermilk and mix 30 seconds.
    • Scrape down sides and stir mixture briefly with rubber spatula.

    3. Spoon

    • about 2 tablespoons batter into each prepared cup.
    • Place half plum, cut side up, into each cup, pushing plum down a little.

    (Try to leave some of plum above batter so when cake rises, plum will still show).

    • Sprinkle equal amount of remaining brown sugar over cut surface of each plum.

    4. Place pan on center rack of oven and bake 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.

    Remove pan from oven and cool cakes in cups 8-10 minutes before unmolding.

    5. To unmold,

    • run short icing spatula or blunt knife around edge of cakes, if necessary, working under cakes to release bottoms.
    • Lift cakes out with spatula and, keeping right side up, place in center of individual desert plates.
    • Serve warm (although great at room temperature), accompanying with ice cream, whipped cream or chocolate sauce.

     

    • PLUM PIE

    Bleeding Heart Plum Pie:

    A top crust made of overlapping heart-shaped cutouts covers a simple mixture of:

    • plum wedges,
    • sugar,
    • ground ginger,
    • cinnamon and
    • thickeners (cornstarch and instant tapioca).

    The oh-so-red plum mixture gently bubbles through the gaps between the hearts when it bakes — thus the name bleeding hearts.

    But if you prefer, you can use other shapes, such as leaves or flowers. Just make sure that there are steam-hole gaps between the cutouts (see recipe).

     

    • Plum-tangy salsa:

    This plum-based salsa is great spooned over grilled chicken, fish or duck.

    To make it,

    • combine 3 cups diced plums,
    • 1/4 cup minced red onion,
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice,
    • 1 teaspoon sugar,
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil,
    • and 1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeño chili

    (use caution when working with fresh chilies; wash hands and work surface thoroughly upon completion — and do NOT touch your eyes or face).

    • Stir; add 1/4 chopped fresh mint or cilantro.
    • Add salt and pepper to taste.

     

    • Warm plum slumguleon with vanilla mascarpone:

    Warm spiced plums make a great breakfast treat.

    Top them with a vanilla-bean enriched mascarpone (buttery-rich, creamy cheese) and it becomes a classy dessert.

    • Heat a large, deep skillet on medium-high heat.
    • Add 2 pounds of halved, pitted plums,
    • 1/2 cup sugar; cook, stirring frequently, until plums are tender and sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes.
    • Add 1/2 teaspoon minced orange zest (colored part of peel)
    • and pinch of ground cinnamon; stir to combine.

    To make topping, first make vanilla sugar: Place 1 plump vanilla bean (pod, cut into several pieces) and 2 cups sugar in food processor fitted with metal blade, then pulse several times and process 2-5 minutes. Pass through sieve. Stir 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar into 8 ounces mascarpone. Spoon onto individual servings of warm spiced plums. Use leftover sugar in cookies, cakes, ice cream and shortbread.

     

    • Plum coulis, a topper for ice cream, angel food cake or pudding:

    Coulis is a general term referring to a purée or sauce, often made with fresh berries.

    This plum sauce is made by:

    • purée 2 large ripe red or black plums (about 1/2 pound, pitted and coarsely chopped) and 2 tablespoons water in a blender.
    • Pour into sieve set over a bowl;
    • press firmly on solids. Discard solids.
    • Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar to strained sauce and stir to dissolve
    • Spoon sauce over individual servings of ice cream, cake or pudding.

     

    • Thyme-scented side dish:

    These seared plum wedges make a savory-sweet side dish to accompany roast pork, poultry or lamb.

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    • In a bowl, combine
    • 4 medium plums cut into 1/2-inch wedges,
    • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme,
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar,
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey,
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher preferred)
    • 1 teaspoon ground pepper;
    • set aside 10 minutes.
    • Heat a deep, ovenproof skillet on medium heat;
    • add plum mixture and cook about 1 minute or until plums are seared and caramel-colored.
    • Place in preheated oven 10 minutes or until plum skins are beginning to break, and color is vibrant

     

    • Beet salad with plums and goat cheese:

    The tangy-sweet flavor of plums pairs beautifully with goat cheese and roasted beets.

    To roast beets,

    • wrap 12 (2-inch diameter) beets (tops trimmed) in foil packets, 3 to a packet.
    • Place on baking sheet and place in 375-degree oven until tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
    • Unwrap and cool; peel and slice.
    • Or, if you prefer, use canned sliced beets.
    • Place in large bowl.

    In a blender, combine

    • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon sugar.

    With motor running, add

    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • Season this vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste.
    • Toss 1/4 cup vinaigrette with beets

    In another bowl, toss

    • 1 1/2 pounds plums (pitted, cut into 1/2-inch wedges)
    • 1 medium red onion (thinly sliced)
    • 1/3 cup vinaigrette

    On a platter,

    • arrange beets overlapping around edge
    • Fill center with baby spinach leaves (10-ounce bag)
    • drizzle with remaining vinaigrette
    • Top with plum mixture
    • Sprinkle with 8 ounces crumbled soft goat cheese

     

    • Plum, melon and grape summer compote:

    In large bowl, combine

    • 6-8 cups melon balls (watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe),
    • 2 cups seedless grapes
    • 4 plums (pitted, cut in wedges)

    In small bowl, combine

    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • pinch salt
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • stir until sugar dissolves
    • Pour over fruit
    • toss gently
    • Cover and refrigerate 6-8 hours
    • Add 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
    • Toss and serve

     

    • P.B. and plums:

    Here’s a zesty summer sandwich.

    Instead of topping a peanut butter sandwich with jam or jelly, top that spread with thinly sliced plums.

     

    • Seafood a la plum:

    Pan-seared scallops slathered with a plum-and-basil sauce is a quick and easy summer entree.

    In a medium saucepan, combine

    • 1 teaspoon olive oil,
    • 12 pitted and diced plums,
    • 3 minced shallots
    • 6 cloves garlic (minced);
    • cook on medium-high heat 3 minutes.
    • Add 1 cup dry white wine
    • the juice of 2 lemons;
    • cook 3 minutes.
    • Strain in sieve set over bowl.
    • Press solids firmly to extract as much as possible.
    • Place half of strained liquid in blender;
    • with motor running add 2 tablespoons butter (cut in small pieces), 1 piece at a time.
    • With motor still running, add 1/2 cup olive oil.
    • Season with salt and pepper.
    • Repeat process with remaining liquid, 2 more tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup olive oil.
    • Place in saucepan on low heat.
    • Add 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil.
    • Pat 1 1/4 pounds of sea scallops with paper towels.
    • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
    • Add scallops.
    • Allow scallops to caramelize on 1 side, 2-3 minutes.
    • Gently turn and cook about 2 minutes, or until cooked through.
    • Pour half of sauce on 4 dinner plates.
    • Put scallops on sauce on plates.
    • Garnish with sprigs of fresh basil.
    • Serve at once.
    • Pass remaining sauce at table (California Tree Fruit Agreement).

     

    • Oven-Roasted Plum Cake:

    These little cakes, baked in small custard cups, have a juicy plum half baked into them.

    Serve them warm, topped with whipped cream, ice cream or hot chocolate sauce.

    Total Time: 45 mins
    Prep Time: 20 mins
    Cook Time: 25 mins
    Serve/Yield: 8

    Ingredients:

    1/2 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon minced orange zest
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2/3 cup brown sugar, divided
    2 large eggs
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup flour
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 cup buttermilk
    4 large ripe plums, halved and pitted
    whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired

    Directions:
    1 Preheat oven to 350. Butter 8 ramekins and place them on a rimmed baking sheet.

    2 Combine the sugar and orange zest well.

    3 Cream the butter, 2 T of brown sugar, and the granulated sugar mixture for 6 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    4 Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

    5 Add the vanilla and mix well.

    6 Add the flour and baking soda and beat on low speed for only 15 seconds.

    7 Pour in the buttermilk and beat for 30 seconds more.

    8 Remove from mixer and use a spatula to finish blending the ingredients if necessary.

    9 Place a half plum, cut side up, into each cup.

    10 Spoon the batter into the ramekins, dividing the batter among them evenly.

    11 Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar evenly over each plum.

    12 Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean.

    13 Cool the cakes 10 minutes.

    14 To serve, top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

     

    • Tart Heart Plum Pie

    Yield: 7-8 servings

    • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided use
    • 2 tablespoons instant tapioca
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 3 pounds red or black plums, pitted, cut in 3/8-inch wedges (6 cups)
    • 1 (15-ounce) box refrigerated pie crusts, such as Pillsbury Pie Crusts
    • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

    Cook’s notes: This pie has no bottom crust, so make sure to use a glass or ceramic pie plate so the acidic fruit won’t react with the pan.

    Preliminaries: Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees.

    1. In large bowl, whisk 3/4 cup sugar with tapioca, cornstarch, cinnamon and ginger. Add plums and toss. Set aside.

    2. Cut circle of dough to place on rim of pie plate: Take 1 sheet pie crust (package will have 2) and place on dry, clean work surface. Place 9-inch plate or pie plate (to use as template) on top of dough. Use sharp knife to cut out circle. Remove plate and cut second circle 1/2 inch outside perimeter of first circle. Using pastry brush, lightly moisten 1/2-inch-wide ring of dough with cold water and invert onto rim of pie plate; gently press to adhere. Don’t worry if it breaks; just press it into place.

    3. Using heart-shaped cookie cutters (the same or different sizes), cut hearts as close together as possible from remaining dough (including second sheet).

    4. Toss plums to redistribute liquid; pour into pie plate. Scrape in all liquid and any undissolved sugar clinging to bowl. Dot with butter.

    5. Using pastry brush, lightly moisten dough ring on pie plate with cold water. Affix heart cutouts, tops toward center, to ring, overlapping slightly to form a ring of hearts. Affix another ring of hearts to first ring, moistening dough on underside where they overlap (if you use different-size hearts, use smaller ones in center). Continue to cover pie in this fashion, leaving a few open spaces here and there to act as vents.

    6. Using pastry brush, moisten surface of dough with cold water. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon sugar on top. Place pie on jellyroll pan (baking sheet with sides). Bake in middle of preheated oven 20 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Lower heat to 375 degrees; bake 20 more minutes, or until top is nicely browned. Transfer to rack to cool at least 2 hours. Serve in shallow bowls.

     

    • pork with plum and ginger
    • browned the pork in a pan,
    • covered it with plums that have been cooked up with some sugar, ginger and chilli,
    • pour it over the top before baking until it is all bubbly.

     

    • Brandy & Vodka Plum Drinks

    Take the best of the remaining plums,

    wash and pricked them, and put them in large sealable glass jars, before adding brandy and vodka, and a little amount of sugar.

    Let them steep from August to December, then add some sugar to taste, drain the alcohol off, and bottle to give as gifts.

    ( mix the brandy and vodka together, as the one is too plummy and the other isn’t enough).

    Put the drained plums in the freezer and make a spiced plum crumble on New Year’s Eve.

    **NOTE** The plums will be so alcoholic it’s unbelievable, one bowl is like a good solid double shot of vodka –

    people won’t believe quite how tipsy a crumble is until they take a mouthful. Don’t be surprised if you get VERY clean bowls back!

     

    • spiced plum crumble

    Ingredients

    • 50g/1¾oz butter

    • 15 fresh dark plums, halved, stones removed

    • 1 vanilla pod, split in half

    • 1 star anise

    • pinch freshly grated nutmeg

    • 2 cinnamon sticks

    • 50ml/1¾fl oz water

    • 100ml/3½fl oz red wine

    • 5 tbsp golden syrup

    • 4 tbsp caster sugar

    For the crumble topping

    • 190g/6¾oz plain flour

    • 100g/3½oz demerara sugar

    • 100g/3½oz butter, softened

    To serve

    Preparation method

    1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 4.

    2. Heat the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the plums and fry for a few minutes.

    3. Add the split vanilla pod, star anise, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks to the pan.

    4. Add the water, red wine, golden syrup and sugar and bring to the boil.

    5. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until the plums break down to a thick sauce.

    6. Transfer the plum mixture to a deep ovenproof dish.

    7. For the crumble topping, mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl.

    8. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

      Technique: Rubbing in

      Rubbing in

    9. Watch technique0:46 mins

    10. Sprinkle the crumble over the plums and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden-brown.

    11. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving with ice-cream or double cream.

    Required techniques

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    One thought on “Tons & Tons of PLUMS

      long coats for men said:
      August 18, 2013 at 4:04 am

      Thanks-a-mundo for the blog article.Really thank you! Fantastic.

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