Maple Syrup–From Tree to Tummy … YUMMY!

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Maple Syrup–From Tree to Tummy … YUMMY!


Beauty, charm and strength — the Sugar Maple is a hardwood that embodies it all. Rising to heights of nearly 100 feet, the Sugar Maple expands its grace, spreading out its incomparable leaves to widths of 50 feet across.
It’s no wonder New York and Vermont have both adopted it as their state trees and Canada has adorned its national flag with the Sugar Maple’s incredible leaf.
A Show of Color like no other
If there are trees in heaven they’re probably Sugar Maples. Its autumn foliage stands out above all others in the landscape. That’s when the substantial green leaves morph to rich golds, bright yellows, then a burnt orange so vivid it almost glows.
The show of color ends with an unmatched deep red that will keep you looking forward to next fall. With a gorgeous array of brilliant colors, Sugar Maples make an exceptional roadside tree. So beautiful are the leaves that passersby may want to pull over for a longer look.
Don’t miss out on this year’s colors.


There is a specific way to approach planting, identifying, harvesting & processing Maple Trees for sugar or syrup and I will attempt to cover everything you need to know in this one blog. The source of information presented here comes from a plethora of sources through-out the internet, although I will rearrange it here in a more logical order to make sense.

The FIRST thing you will need to know is the ZONE you live in, so you are not wasting your time trying to do something that is not possible for your area.

Below is a chart with this information:

This chart is for the SUGAR MAPLE – this is the maple with the most sugar content in it’s sap, containing a 2 percent average sugar content. It takes nearly twice as much sap from other species is required to produce the same amount of maple syrup.



If you already have Maple Trees on your property, you will need to know how to tell what kind of Maple you have, as there are over 100 species of maple, genus Acer, existing throughout the world. About 14 of those are native to the United States.

Sugar, Red and Silver Maples are valued for their beauty but also for their sap, which can be rendered into maple syrup. Maples are similar in appearance, but a few characteristics set sugar maples apart. This requires you to look at the leaves &/or bark of the tree. Here is the information supplied By Robert Korpella, in his eHow article on how to tell the difference:

Things You’ll Need: Maple leaves


1  Examine the leaves on the tree, or those that have fallen below the tree. Sugar maple leaves are 3 to 5 inches long, are broad at the base and have five lobes. Notches between the lobes are rounded and the leaves have a slight wavy tooth pattern on the edges. The tops of sugar maple leaves are dark green, and the undersides are a paler shade of green. By contrast, both red and silver maple leaves are a paler green on top with whitish to silvery-white undersides. Silver maple leaves have three to five lobes with long points and noticeably toothy edges. Red maples have three broad lobes.

2  Look up at the branches to see if the tree has fruit, called samara. This fruit has a large seed with one or two wings to help the seed float to the ground. Sugar, red and silver maples all have two-winged samara, but the silver maple’s fruit matures in fall while the others do so in spring.

3  Determine if the maple tree has flowers in spring. Sugar maple flowers are nearly invisible, while red maples bear prominent red clusters and silver maples show greenish-yellow flowers.

4  Touch and study the bark. Young maple trees of each variety have light gray to brownish bark, smooth in appearance. Mature trees begin to differ, with sugar maples developing irregular plates of bark that often split away vertically. Silver maples develop a deeply furrowed bark that pulls loose in flakes. Red maples have a tighter bark, smooth and gray on stems, rough and brown on trunks of mature trees.

5  Estimate the size of the tree. Sugar maples grow taller than their cousins, often to heights of 60 to 100 feet with trunks that can exceed 3 feet in diameter. Silver and red maples are 40 to 60 feet tall. Red maple trunks are typically 1 to 2 feet in diameter, while silver maples have trunks closer to the size of sugar maples — 3 to 4 feet in diameter.

6  Observe the tree in autumn when fall colors are bright. Sugar maples display bright yellows, oranges and crimson hues. Red maples show a fiery red color. Silver maples turn yellow, sometimes orange or red, but the leaves brown before they fall from the tree.

How To Tell The Difference in the Winter: by Laura Hageman

Maple trees are used most often for landscaping. They grow tall and offer plenty of shade from the sun. Some of the most common types of maple trees are sugar, red, Norway, black, and silver. Maple tree leaves change color during the fall to bright colors such as yellow, red and orange. After the leaves have fallen, it can be more difficult to identify a maple tree.


1  Analyze the shape of the buds on the maple tree. Buds are noticeable during the winter and vary from round to egg-shaped. Black maple trees have egg-shaped buds. Silver maple trees have round buds. Red maple has oblong buds and silver maple has clusters of buds with blunt points.

2  Examine the bark of maple trees during the winter. Norway maple has grayish black bark with narrow ridges shaped like diamonds. Red maple bark is light gray and smooth textured. Sugar maple has bark that is dark grey with vertical smooth ridges.

3  Look at the color of the twigs of maple trees during the winter. Branches to many of the maple trees such as sugar, red, and Norway maples are reddish brown in color. Silver maple branches turn red during winter.

Tips & Warnings

Some of the more common maple trees can grow between 50 to 100 feet tall.

  Sugar Maple Tree Bark

sugar_maple_bark-The bark on young trees is dark grey

sugar_maple_bark-The bark on young trees is dark grey




Penny Porter says that while there are several characteristic to use to distinguish maple trees from other trees, some of these traits do not govern all maple species. Bark can be used to distinguish many types of maples from other trees and other maple species, especially during the winter when leaves and seeds are not available to assist in other identification methods.

Here are her tips on using bark to help identify what kind of maple you have already on your property:


1  Identify silver maple trees by examining the bark for a smooth texture and grayish-brown color. Bear in mind that silver maple tree bark grows darker as the tree ages and becomes furrowed with deep wrinkles that separate the bark into scaly, long flakes.

2  Classify the boxelder as a maple tree by seeking out trees with light brown or pale gray bark that has deep winkles that create broad furrows and rough, scaly ridges. You can also distinguish the boxelder from other maple species by their signature compound leaves that are marquis-shaped.

3  Distinguish the red maple species of trees from other maples by looking for bark that transforms from a smooth texture and light gray color to a rough texture and dark gray color. The bark of older red maple trees is also noticeable because it peels and flakes.

4  Label a maple as a sugar maple once you have discovered bark that starts smooth and grayish-brown on young trees and becomes thicker and darker as the tree ages. As the sugar maple tree ages, the bark will also become full of scaly, vertical ridges with deep creases in between.

5  Categorize the black maple species by identifying dark-gray bark with deep wrinkles that create irregularly shaped ridges. When sugar maples are nearby, you can distinguish the black maple by its darker, more furrowed surface in comparison to the sugar maple.

6  Examine a maple tree that begins its life with light brown and smooth bark that changes to a dark grayish-black color and you will identify the Norway maple tree. The Norway maple adult tree will have narrow, shallow ridges that form into diamond patterns between the furrowed grooves that appear as the tree ages.

Below are some additional links with pictures for more help with identifying your Maple Trees:

Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple or Rock Maple)(27) From Pinterest by Jenny Georgina

Legacy Sugar Maple Tree


Green Mountain Sugar Maple Tree

Sugar Maple Tree Leaf

Sugar Maple Tree Identification


Southern Sugar Maple Tree


Sugar Maple trees(97)  From Pinterest by Rod Wilson

How to Plant & Grow Sugar Maple Trees



Maple Tree Growing Zones

Maple Tree Growing Zones

Be aware of the growing conditions for such a tree.

Sugar Maples are one of the few slow growing trees that are not poisonous to humans but, they cannot tolerate any weather or water condition under -47 degrees so, you need to determine where in the world that you live in order to have such a tree.  In addition the ground must have a pH of 3.8 to 7.6 in order to grow successful and soil like this tends to be very coarse in its texture so the more coarse the dirt the better.

Sugar maple trees make effective shade trees when planted in the right place. They grow 50 to 100 feet high, making them appropriate for large landscapes. They are not native to the Rocky Mountains or the western U.S. due to high altitudes an low humidity, although gardeners may grow them successfully by providing extra care.

Zone 2  -40 Degrees °F to -50 Degrees °F
  Zone 3 -30 Degrees °F to -40 Degrees °F
  Zone 4 -20 Degrees °F to -30 Degrees °F
  Zone 5 -10 Degrees °F to -20 Degrees °F
  Zone 6 -0 Degrees °F to +10 Degrees °F
  Zone 7 +10 Degrees °F to 0 Degrees °F
  Zone 8 +20 Degrees °F to +10 Degrees °F
  Zone 9 +30 Degrees °F to +20 Degrees °F
  Zone 10 +40 Degrees °F to +30 Degrees °F

A plant hardiness zone is a way to describe a geological area where the average low temperature in winter will fall within a certain range. Plants have a general range of preferred temperature in which they will grow. In terms of low temperature the plant may be damaged or die from being exposed to the low range of it’s preferred temperature zone.

Hardiness zone maps are a general way to identify the low temps in your area. You should speak to your local ag extension agent to find exact low temp ranges known to occur for your area.

Often a plant or tree will be able to survive an extreme low temp with some help. Mulch will protect roots and plastic, foam or fabric can help protect the trunk and/or upper part of a plant.

The wind chill and drying effects produced by winter winds is what does the most damage. A small amount of preparation on your part can help save your plants and trees.

In larger orchard operation the growers will use water/ice to protect their orchard as ice can act as a temporary shield to extreme low temps. Often the extreme lows will only last for short periods. This is what makes the water/ice work as a temporary shield. This is not practical for a home orchard so you should take care to plant trees that are known to survive in your area.

Many people tap sap from the sugar maple because of its high sugar content, which means you do not need as much to create maple syrup. This will also add beautiful fall colors to your garden.

Latin Name: This Sapindaceae (soapberry) family member has the Latin name of Acer saccharum.

Common Names: Though this is usually called by the name sugar maple, you may also see hard maple or rock maple.

Preferred USDA Hardiness Zones:

For best results, this tree should be planted in USDA Zones 3-8. It is native to eastern North America.

Size & Shape of the Sugar Maple:

This species will grow to be 50-80′ tall and 30-60′ wide, forming into a rounded shape.


Plant this in a location that receives full sun to full shade.

Foliage/Flowers/Fruit of the Sugar Maple:

The leaves are usually 3-6″ long with three to five lobes and will turn shades of orange, yellow or red in autumn.

The green flowers appear in spring. This species can be either monoecious or dioecious.

The fruits form in winged pairs called samaras. Once they mature they will be papery and brown.

Design Tips For the Sugar Maple:

If you live in an area where salt is used to deice roads, do not use this as a street tree as this species does not tolerate salinity well. It also can struggle if there is a lot of pollution in the area or if placed in areas like planter strips where the roots are not able to spread.

Make sure you keep this adequately watered as it does not do well in drought. Create a watering system in your yard to make it easier.

Growing Tips For the Sugar Maple:

Do not tap the tree for sap once the buds appear. Learn more about making your own maple syrup. You can expect an average of 10 gallons per tap, and a tree can have up to three taps depending on the trunk diameter. It usually takes up to 50 gallons of sugar maple sap (depending on sugar content) to make one gallon of syrup. Whew!


Only prune if necessary at the end of summer or in fall to avoid problems with bleeding sap.

Pests & Diseases of the Sugar Maple:

Troubleshooting problems with your Sugar Maples: Some things you need to know~

What causes Maple Trees to Suddenly Die?
Unfortunately, maple trees are susceptible to a number of stresses and diseases that can result in tree death.


  • Urban maple trees are often stressed by a lack of nutrients in disturbed soil and by damage from de-icing salts, according to the University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program. They also fall victim to fungal tree diseases such as anthracnose, Verticillium wilt and sapstreak disease.


  • Nutrient-deprived trees have smaller leaves that may turn yellow or brown. Excessive concentrations of salt or chloride in salt-damaged trees causes leaf yellowing and branch die-off. The symptoms of anthracnose range from mild spotting to leaf blight. Verticillium wilt causes branch wilting, scorched leaves and small or yellow foliage. Sapstreak disease is particularly serious in sugarbush maples. It is characterized by stains on the roots and lower stems, poor leaf growth and sometimes sudden death.


  • Avoid problems such as salt injury and nutrient imbalances by planting trees in appropriate sites and providing regular care and maintenance. Fungicides and tree maintenance help to lessen the effects of anthracnose and Verticillium wilt. Sapstreak is generally fatal; prevent the disease by minimizing root and stem damage to trees.

The previous information is from the following link, and there are several other links that go into more detail for further information.
Read more :

You can also click this link for more Diseases of Sugar Maples

How to SAVE a Dying Sugar Maple


Related Searches


Possible diseases include:

  • Butt rot (Ustulina vulgaris)
  • Eutypella canker(Eutypella parasitica)
  • Heart rots (Inonotus glomeratus and Hydnum septentrionale)
  • Nectria canker (Nectria galligena)
  • Root rot (Armillaria mellea)
  • Sapstreak (Ceratocystis coerulenscens)
  • Verticillium wilt, (Verticillium albo-atrum)

There should not be too many pest problems besides the possibility of bud damage. Some potential pests include:

  • Aphids like the woolly alder aphid (Prociphilus tesselatus)
  • Bruce span-worm (Operophtera bruceata)
  • Bud miners (Obrussa ochrefasciella and Proteoteras moffatiana)
  • Deer
  • Forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria)
  • Gloomy scale (Melanaspis tenebricosa)
  • Green-striped mapleworm (Anisota rubicunda)
  • Leaf rollers
  • Maple leaf-cutter (Paraclemensia acerifoliella)
  • Maple phenacoccus (Phenacoccus acericola)
  • Maple trumpet skeletonizer (Epinotia aceriella)
  • Sapsuckers
  • Spring cankerworm (Paleacrita vernata)
  • Squirrels

Planting Time

  • Professional landscapers plant balled-and-burlapped trees or container-grown sugar maples any time between early spring and fall. However, summer heat is hard on newly planted trees, so spring and fall are the best times to plant sugar maples. Plant trees in spring as soon as the ground is soft enough to work. Plant in fall at least four weeks before the first expected freeze to allow the roots time to become established before the ground freezes. Plant bare-root sugar maple trees in late winter before new leaves emerge.

Selecting Trees

  • Buy sturdy, young sugar maple trees from a reputable grower. Look for bare-root trees with the roots wrapped in peat moss, plastic or burlap so they do not dry out. Avoid those with dried, mangled roots. Potted and balled-and-burlapped trees should stand tall without wobbling, which may indicate weak roots. Lift the potted tree out of the container slightly. Avoid trees with roots that wrap heavily in a circle. The roots may never stretch out and grow, but may slowly girdle and strangle the growing tree. Keep the roots moist and plant immediately after purchase. Soak the roots of bare-root trees in a bucket of water for two to three hours before planting.


Planting Sugar Maples

  • Select a sunny location for the sugar maple tree with rich, well-drained soil. Sugar maples prefer a soil pH between 3.7 to 7.3. Amend soils with lime or sulfur if the pH falls outside of these ranges. Dig a hole three times as wide as the root ball and as deep. Place the soil in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp and add a small amount of compost, but no more than 20 percent of the total soil volume. Place the tree in the hole, making sure it stands straight. Fill the hole half full of soil, tamping down lightly with your foot. Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain. Add the rest of the soil, tamping down again.

Early Care

  • Stake the tree if it is planted in a very windy location, using soft twine and metal or wooden stakes. Water the tree at least weekly to help it recover from transplanting, and apply a wood chip mulch around the base of the tree and extending 3 feet from the tree to keep weeds down and conserve water.

Plant a Sugar Maple Tree Step 2.jpg

2 Access the plants that are near by the tree.  If you are planting Sugar Maples which is a slow growing tree this may not be toxic humans or animals but, this particularly hazardous to certain plants so, be aware of which plants that cannot be in a 100 ft inch of a Sugar Maple tree because then you will have a hard time keeping it alive. 

Plant a Sugar Maple Tree Step 3.jpg


Find the right place to grow the tree.  If you think that you can line some beautiful Sugar Maples near a roadway or street you are sadly mistaken because they do not have a tolerance for compact soil, air pollution or road salt so, they will die in the process of growing if they are near a roadway. So try to find a spot that is limited in air pollution and the soils in not compact.

Plant a Sugar Maple Tree Step 4.jpg


Make sure where you grow the tree has even light because these plants are very funny when it comes to sun light and they tend to lean wherever the sun is hitting them so, if you do not want to have a leaning tree make sure that the sunlight is even.

5 Determine the best time to plant such a tree. If you start in the months April and May by the last of summer you will have a beautiful tree if you are planting in the months September or October if they survive the winter in the spring season you will have a gorgeous tree.

6  Be patient. It takes time for these trees to grow into the maximum height of 100 feet so, in time they’ll will grow and when they do you’ll probably will never see that maximum height but, you’ll know when it does it was all you.

 Tapping, Collecting/Harvesting Trees

The  following information is from and though I do not normally copy and paste directly from other sites, the information they share is essential for successful harvesting & production, and so will be included here in it’s entirety to save going from one site to another.

Tap Maple Trees at Home – Preparation

As with any endeavor, preparation is critical. It is important you are prepared with the knowledge of which trees in your yard are maples and that you have the necessary equipment. Do this before the sap starts to flow (sap flow typically begins in February or March).

Identify Your Maple Trees – The Yard Map

Preparation Process

The most effective way to identify maple trees is to create a map of your yard and record each type of tree (or at least the maples). If you try to tap an Oak tree, you will be greatly disappointed in the results. A great joke in Canada refers to tapping telephone poles, with the result being Pole Syrup (also known as imitation syrup such as Aunt Jemima® or Mrs. Butterworth’s®). The ideal time to prepare this map is in the Summer or Fall, when the leaves are still on the trees. If your trees have already lost their leaves, your maple trees can be identified based on other characteristics (see below links to commonly tapped maple trees). Identifying the type of maple tree is also important, as certain maples contain a higher sugar content, which will be described in later sections.

The most commonly tapped maple trees are Sugar, Black, Red, and Silver Maples. Click on the link of each tree for a detailed description of how to identify the tree.    *(or refer to the information above in this article).

While this site is focused on tapping your Maple trees, other types of trees can be tapped to collect sap, including Birch and Walnut trees.

Obtain Equipment Needed to Tap Trees

Obtain your equipment early, as supplies may become limited when the sap is flowing (that is the time of year everyone is purchasing equipment). The equipment needed to tap your trees can be grouped into two sections, equipment specific to tap the tree; and other general equipment (which you typically already own).

Equipment to Tap Trees

  • Buckets: Used to collect the sap as it drips from the spile.
  • Lids: Attached to the top of the bucket to prevent rain, snow, and foreign material from entering the bucket.
  • Drill Bit: Depending upon the type of spile used, either a 5/16 or 7/16 drill bit is used to drill the tap hole into your maple tree.
  • Spiles: The spile (or tap) is inserted into the drilled hole to transfer sap into the bucket.
  • Hooks: Hooks are attached to the spile and used to hang the bucket.
  • Cheesecloth: Used to filter any solids (such as pieces of bark) when transferring sap from the collection bucket to a storage container.

This equipment can be purchased on this site. Complete kits are offered in two varieties, with plastic buckets/lids or metal buckets/lids. The option to use plastic or metal is mainly a personal preference. The advantage of plastic buckets/lids is they will not dent or corrode. Metal buckets/lids create a more nostalgic image. We also offer a Spiles Kit with 4 spiles/hooks and step-by-step instructions.

Other General Equipment Needed

  • Maple Trees: At a minimum, you need access to one mature (at least 12 inches in diameter), healthy maple tree. Many different types of maple trees can be tapped to collect sap, including Sugar Maple, Black Maple, Red Maple, and Silver Maple.
  • Drill: A cordless drill is preferable, but a corded electric drill can be used with a properly insulated extension cord (long enough to reach the tree).
  • Hammer: Used to gently tap the spile into the tap hole.
  • Pliers: Used to remove the tap from the tree once the sap season is over.
  • Storage Containers: Food grade storage containers are used to store your collected sap. Clean plastic milk jugs or juice containers may be used. You can also use food grade 5 gallon buckets. Your local deli or donut shop may provide these free of charge as they often receive their ingredients in such containers.
  • Sap Processing Equipment: Depending upon how you decide to utilize your sap, additional equipment may be needed. For example, if you would like to make maple syrup, additional equipment is required. For small scale production, you can generally use items already available at home (refer to Collect Sap & Make Syrup section for details on making maple syrup).

Tap Maple Trees at Home – Tapping Trees

When To Tap Maple Trees

Generally the sap starts to flow between mid-February and mid-March. The exact time of year depends upon where you live and weather conditions. Sap flows when daytime temperatures rise above freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit / 0 Celsius) and nighttime temperatures fall below freezing. The rising temperature creates pressure in the tree generating the sap flow. This is basically a transfer of the sap from the tree above the ground and the root system below the ground. The sap generally flows for 4 to 6 weeks, with the best sap produced early on in the sap-flowing season.

tap maple tree

Select Maple Trees to Tap

Now is the time to pull out that yard map where you have identified your maple trees, including the type of maple tree. The recommended order in selecting your maple trees to yield a higher sugar content is: Sugar, Black, Red, Silver. Select trees that are mature (at least 12 inches in diameter) and healthy. That tree on the edge of your driveway healing from a direct car hit is not an ideal candidate for tapping. Additionally, select trees with the greatest exposure to sunlight. If you have a limited number of maples available, you can tap a particular tree two or tree times, depending upon its size. Using these guidelines, a healthy tree will support multiple taps:

12-20 inches
21-27 inches
Greater than 27 inches

Number of Taps

measure maple tree diameter

Clean Equipment

Clean spiles, bucket, and lids prior to use each season. With a mixture of 1 part unscented household bleach (such as Clorox® Regular-Bleach) to 20 parts clean water, use a brush or cloth to scrub your supplies. Triple rinse all with hot water.

Gather Equipment

Now the excitement starts. The weather conditions are ideal and you are headed out to the yard to tap your first tree. Take your drill (with bit attached), hammer, spiles, hooks, buckets, and lids. Don’t forget your camera to capture the moment.

Tap the Tree

The height of the tap hole should be at a height that is convenient for you and allows easy collection. A height of about 3 feet is recommended. If the tree has been tapped in previous seasons, do not tap within 6 inches of the former tap hole. Ideally, the tap hole should be above a large root or below a large branch on the south side of the tree. If more than one tap is to be placed in the same tree, distribute the tap holes around the circumference of the tree. Be sure to avoid any damaged area of the tree.

Drill the tap hole: The size of the drill bit to be used is dependent on the type of spile you are using. Most spiles require either a 7/16 or 5/16 bit. Drill a hole 2 to 2 ½ inches deep. It may be helpful to wrap a piece of tape around the drill bit 2 ½ inches from the tip to use as a guide. Drill at a slight upward angle to facilitate downward flow of sap from the hole. The shavings from the drilled tap hole should be light brown, indicating healthy sapwood. If the shavings are dark brown, drill another hole in a different location.

drill hole to tap maple tree

Inserting the Spile: Clear any wood shavings from the edge of the hole. Insert the spile into the loop on the hook (hook facing outward), and then insert the spile into the tap hole. Gently tap the spile into the tree with a hammer (do not pound the spile into the tree, as this may cause the wood to split). If the sap is flowing, you should immediately see sap dripping from the spile.

maple tree tap

Hang the bucket and attach lid

Hang the bucket by inserting the hook into the hole on the rim of the bucket.  Attach the lid to the spile by inserting the metal wire into the double holes on the spile.

maple sap bucket lid

Congratulations, you have successfully tapped your first maple tree. Send us a picture!

Collect Sap & Make Syrup

collect sap and make maple syrup

Depending upon the weather conditions, sap will start to flow immediately after tapping the tree. It drips from the spile into the bucket. Maple sap is a clear fluid and resembles water. The collection amount may vary. Some days you will collect only a small amount and other days your buckets will overflow if not emptied.

Here is a quick video HOW TO :

Transfer sap from buckets to storage containers

Use only food grade containers to store your collected sap. Clean plastic milk jugs or juice containers may be used. You can also use 5 gallon buckets (food grade quality). Your local deli or donut shop may provide these free of charge, as they often receive their ingredients in these containers. Be sure all containers are thoroughly cleaned using a mixture of one part unscented household bleach (such as Clorox® Regular-Bleach) to 20 parts clean water. Scrub the containers and triple rinse with hot water.

When sap is flowing, collect the sap daily. Pour the sap from the bucket into a storage container, using cheesecloth to filter out any foreign material. If a portion of the sap is frozen, throw away the frozen sap.

Storing your sap

The sap should be stored at a temperature of 38 degrees F or colder, used within 7 days of collection and boiled prior to use to eliminate any possible bacteria growth. If there is still snow on the ground, you may keep the storage containers outside, located in the shade, and packed with snow. You can also store the sap in your refrigerator, or for longer term storage, in your freezer. Remember that sap is like milk, it will spoil quickly if not kept cold.

Process sap into maple syrup and other uses

Treat sap like any other nutrient taken directly from nature to include in your diet. When you pick berries in a field, they can be eaten directly from the bush; however, it is generally a good idea to wash them first. Many drink sap straight from the collection bucket, but it is highly recommended you boil your sap prior to any use to kill bacteria that may be present. To effectively kill bacteria, bring the sap to a rolling boil and then let it boil one additional minute.

Maple Sap: Many believe that drinking maple sap is a way to energize the body after a long winter.

In South Korea, the drinking of sap is linked to a wide range of health benefits. Here is an interesting NY Times article about the use of maple sap in South Korea.

Maple sap can also be used to make coffee / tea, brew beer, and in just about any recipe calling for water (to add a subtle sweet, maple flavor).

Maple Syrup:

The most common use of maple sap is to process it into maple syrup. To make maple syrup, the excess water is boiled from the sap.

It takes 40 parts maple sap to make 1 part maple syrup (10 gallons sap to make 1 quart syrup). Because of the large quantity of steam generated by boiling sap, it is not recommended to boil indoors.

If you do decide to boil the sap indoors, make only small batches and ensure good ventilation (and keep an eye that your wallpaper does not peel off the walls).

If you boil outdoors, make certain you are in compliance with any local regulations.

Fire safety must be your highest priority, especially when young children are present. Below is one method for boiling your sap.

Heat source:

A small pit is dug, using bricks to secure the walls of the pit. Metal bars are secured over the fire to support the pot. A fire is built in the pit with dried, split wood. As it will take several hours to boil your sap into syrup, a sufficient wood supply is required.

Other options include an outdoor grill, the kitchen stove (for small batches), an indoor wood stove, or even an outdoor fryer (like the ones used to deep fry a turkey). If boiling indoors, keep in mind that this process will generate a lot of steam.

fire pit to boil maple sap

Boiling the sap:

Fill a flat pan or large pot (a “lobster” pot is used in this example) ¾ full with sap. Place the pot onto the heat source. Once the sap starts to boil down to ¼ – ½ the depth of the pot, add more sap, but try to maintain the boil. If the sap is boiling over the edges of the pot, a drop of vegetable oil or butter wiped onto the edge of the pot will reduce this.

boiling maple sap

Transfer to smaller pot:

The boiling sap will take on a golden color. Once the sap has “mostly” boiled down, but still has a very fluid texture, it is time to transfer the sap into a smaller pot. The outdoor heat source should be fully extinguished at this point.

maple sap

Complete the boiling:

Once transferred to the smaller pot, the final boiling can be completed indoors. Continue to boil the sap until it takes on a consistency of syrup. One way to check for this is to dip a spoon into the sap / syrup – syrup will “stick” to the spoon as it runs off. It is important to watch the boiling sap very closely as it approaches syrup, since it is more likely to boil over at this point. If you have a candy thermometer, finish the boil when the temperature is 7 degrees F above the boiling point of water. Note that the boiling point of water differs based on your elevation.

boiling maple sap

Filtering the syrup:

A small amount of sediment will be present in your syrup. This can be filtered out of your sap using a food grade filter. A coffee filter is suitable to filter a small amount of sap at a time. After letting the syrup cool, pour a small amount into a coffee filter, collect the top ends of the filter into a bunch, and press the syrup through the filter into a clean container (such as a measuring cup). Depending upon how much syrup is produced, this will need to be repeated several times (using a new filter each time). For larger batches, a wool or orlon filter can be used. You can also remove the sediment by allowing the syrup to stand overnight in the refrigerator, letting the sediment settle to the bottom.

Bottle your syrup:

Sterilize a bottle and cap (or multiple bottles and caps depending upon how much syrup you have produced) in boiling water. Pour the sediment free syrup into the bottle, cap, and refrigerate.

Your refrigerated syrup should be used within 2 months. Syrup can also be frozen (in a freezer safe container) to extend shelf life.

bottles of maple syrup

When to stop collecting sap

When the temperature remains above freezing or buds start to form on the tree, it is time to stop collecting sap.

 maple sugaring cleanup


All good things come to an end, and the sap flow is no exception. Once the temperature consistently remains above freezing and buds start to form on your maple trees, it is time to stop collecting. At this point, remove the taps, clean your equipment, and store your equipment for next year.

Remove spiles (taps), buckets, and lids from trees

Remove lid and bucket from the spile. With a pair of pliers, firmly grab hold of the spile and pull out of the tree.

Clean equipment

Prior to placing in storage it is essential to clean all your equipment. Making a mixture of one part unscented household bleach (such as Clorox® Regular-Bleach) to 20 parts clean water, use a brush or cloth to scrub your equipment. Triple rinse with hot water.

Store equipment for next year

Store your supplies in a dry location, free from dust.

If you would like to purchase your supplies from the previous site, here is a link to their specific page:

Turning your Maple syrup into sugar is called Maple sugaring and Backyard Chickens has this information
Maple Sugaring: Making Granulated Maple Sugar
Trying to be as self-sufficient in as many areas as possible this is a backyard Maple Sugaring set-up built using some old commercial equipment purchased real cheap. It’s a small homesteading operation that provides more than enough maple syrup and maple candy for yearly needs and for those of many others.  It’s a very easy process and the results are a beautiful and tasty granulated sugar.

taken from The North American Maple Syrup Producers’ Manual—page 188

Loose Granulated Maple Sugar
Granulated maple sugar (sometimes called stirred sugar or Indian sugar) is prepared by heating maple syrup until the temperature is 45˚ to 50˚F (25˚ to 28˚C) above the boiling point of water.  It is then allowed to cool to about 200˚F (93˚C), and stirred either in the cooking vessel or in an appropriately sized container until granulation is achieved.  Stirring can be done by hand or by using a mechanical stirring machine.  Granulated sugar will “breathe” and ride up high in the pan as it is stirred. A pause in stirring will cause it to drop back down again; after which stirring can be resumed.  Stirring continues until all moisture is essentially removed from the cooked syrup and crumbly, granulated sugar remains, similar to commercially packaged brown sugar.  At this point the sugar is sifted through a coarse screen (1/8-inch or 3mm hardware cloth is commonly used) to make a uniformly sized product.  Stainless steel sieves with handles are available at restaurant supply stores.  Granular sugar absorbs moisture and should quickly be stored in dry, airtight containers.  A quart of syrup will yield about 2 pounds of granulated sugar; a liter of syrup about 1 kg of granulated sugar.  Lighter colored (lower invert) syrup tends to make a “drier” finished product than if darker syrup is used.

Let’s start!
First, heat your Maple Syrup to the boiling point of water plus 45° F. – 50° F.
If the boiling point of water where you are is  212° F.
You will heat your Maple Syrup to be between 257° F and 262° F.

I’ve reached my temperature target zone: 260° F.
Into the mixer…
The mixer is doing all the hard work.
You can see the consistency of the syrup is really starting to change.
It’s lightening up and beginning to have that nice maple color.
It’s about ready to vaporize!
When the syrup begins the final phase of turning into sugar
you’ll have an explosion of steam as the water begins to evacuate.
The first time this happened to me I thought the motor on my mixer was on fire!
The last of the water is coming out now.
When there’s no more steam rising, you’re finished.
Notice the clumpy granulation.
It’s about the consistency of store bought brown sugar but not as sticky.
Spread out and cooling down.
Sifting it into a little finer granulation.
A bowl full of sugar…
Finally, let your maple sugar cool completely down before packaging.
Maple Syrup & Granulated Maple Sugar
under the watchful eye of Knutz!

Cooking with Maple Syrup

Replace Sugar with Maple Syrup in Your Cooking

Maple syrup is a well known sugar substitute among those who strive to use less refined sugar. This is because maple syrup has many properties that are good for the body, making it a sweetener plus a healthy boost.

With antioxidants that support the body’s immune system and heart health as well as several beneficial vitamins and minerals, maple syrup is a great sugar substitute in any recipe. The conversion of maple syrup versus cane sugar in recipes can vary depending on the recipe, but typically one cup of white sugar can be replaced with 2/3 to ¾ cup of maple syrup.

By replacing sugar with maple syrup in your cooking, the sweetness is still very much present. Maple syrup is around three times as sweet as regular sugar with fewer calories.

Another interesting benefit to using maple syrup in cooking is that it has a low glycemic index, making it an ideal sweetener for those who suffer from diabetes.

Organic maple syrup is very nearly a super food, with vitamins and minerals and antioxidants already inside and sweet on top of all that. By choosing organic maple syrup, you are ensuring the purity of the product as well as the sustainability of the growing process the maple syrup comes from.

Maple syrup can be used in the place of sugar for just about any recipe, for it is just a matter of learning the substitution ratio.

  • To replace white sugar with maple syrup in general cooking, it is ideal to use ¾ cup of maple syrup for every one cup of sugar.
  • When it comes to baking, that same amount is used but also be sure to reduce the amount of overall liquid in the recipe by about three tablespoons for each cup of maple syrup substituted.
  • In order to replace honey with maple syrup in cooking, it is an even switch—one tablespoon of maple syrup for one tablespoon of honey, and so forth.
  • It is a good idea to turn your oven temperature down about 25 degrees from the original cooking temperature when trading maple syrup for sugar in a recipe. This is because the maple syrup caramelizes at a lower temperature than sugar does.

Replacing sugar with maple syrup in your cooking can be a great adventure. Take the time to experiment and learn how the maple syrup can best enhance the recipe at hand, for cooking healthy can be fun as well as tasty.

We offer the following guide when using Maple Syrup in your recipes.

Instead of 1 cup granulated sugar use: Reasons
Use 3/4 – 1 1/2 cup maple syrup Because maple syrup is less sweet than granulated sugar. If you like your recipes sweeter use the larger amount of syrup. If you prefer less sweet use the lesser amount.
Decrease liquid by 2 to 4 tablespoons per 1 cup syrup used. Maple syrup contains more moisture than the granulated sugar which the recipe called for.
Add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda* Maple syrup has a slight acidity which needs to be neutralized for the batter to rise and form properly. * Do not add baking soda if the recipe calls for buttermilk, sour milk, or sour cream since these liquids do the same thing.
Decrease oven by 25º Maple syrup will tend to caramelize and burn on the top and edges before a batter using a solid sweetener like sugar.

Indian Sugar (Maple Granulated Sugar)
When substituting Indian sugar for granulated sugar the conversion rate is to use 1/2 cup Indian sugar for each 1 cup of granulated sugar.


  • To substitute for sugar in cooking, generally use only 3/4 cup Maple Syrup to each cup of sugar.
  • To substitute Maple Syrup for granulated sugar in baking, use the same proportions, but reduce the other liquid called for in the recipe by about 3 tablespoons for every cup of syrup substituted.

One pint of Maple Syrup has the same sweetening power as one pound of Maple Sugar.
When experimenting with your own recipes using maple Syrup as a substitute for granulated sugar it is a good idea to record the amounts of maple syrup used, the amount that the liquid was decreased by, and the temperature of the oven. This well allow you to make adjustments in the amounts, if needed, in the future.

Method of mixing
Combine syrup with liquid in recipe or melt shortening, then mix thoroughly with liquid shortening.

Here is a pdf file with conversion information:
Cornell Maple bulletin 2007 Replacing Table Sugar with Maple Sugar


Canning tips you may not see in the manual

Posted on Updated on

Canning tips you may not see in the manual

with assistance from  Lindsay Seaman

Lindsay has been canning & preserving food for over 25 years, so the tips she gained through trial & error
are very helpful to avoid some of the same pitfalls.

Lindsay Seaman is a staff writer for Eartheasy.


Extending your harvest throughout the winter can be a daunting & confusing task, but canning is an efficient way to preserve summer’s bounty.

Basic Information:

There are two basic types of canners, and knowing which one to use can save you frustration & loss:

  • ‘water bath’ for high acid foods like jams, fruit and tomatoes,
  • pressure canners’ for low acid foods like most vegetables, meat and fish.

Canning is a precision process with emphasis on sterilization and cleanliness.

You will want to have a recently published home canning book, some good ones being from Ball, Kerr (well known sources of canning supplies), and the US Department of Agriculture. Your pressure canner will also come with a reliable manual.

Be sure to read all instructions before starting.

Even though you follow the instructions carefully, you can still make mistakes.

The following tips may help, and they apply to both water bath and pressure canning.

Tips from Lindsay

  1. Be organized

    Lay out all the equipment and ingredients before starting food preparation.

  2. Try using the dishwasher to preheat your jars

    Canning jars must be clean and hot before filling. You can pour hot water into the jars to preheat them, but it is convenient to time your dishwasher load so the hot jars are ready when you need them. Preheating the jars prevents them from breaking when filled with hot foods and hot additives like syrup.

  3. Avoid placing hot jars on cold surfaces

    When removing processed jars, place on tea towels or layered newspapers. I like the newspapers because it easier to clean up the mess afterwards. Never put freshly processed jars on a cold surface, or they may break.

  4. Don’t ‘clunk’ the jars

    Make sure not to ‘clunk’ or tap hot jars together when removing them from the canner because hot glass breaks easily. As a general rule, be gentle with the jars throughout the process.

  5. Avoid drafts when removing jars

    Canning is a hot business and the temptation is to open all the windows. This is fine until you take the jars out of the canner. Then, you should consider closing nearby windows and doors because a cool draft can break a hot glass jar.

  6. Use a footstool if necessary when removing jars from canner

    Ideally, the bottom of a pressure canner should be about waist height. This is so you can see inside and have good control when lifting the jars out of the canner. If you are short, you may want to use a footstool for easier and safer jar removal.

  7. Let it be

    Once you’ve set the glass jars on the counter, avoid moving them, as this may interrupt the sealing process. Be patient, as the lids may take a long time to seal. A sealed jar usually has a visible indentation of the lid.

  8. Store it cool, dry and dark

    Store processed jars in a cool (50 – 70 degrees F), dry and shady place for best results. In our home, we store jars under the kids’ beds and other indoor locations that won’t freeze.

  9. Consider using a magnetic lid lifter

    The jar lids must be preheated in hot water before using. They can be tricky to lift out to set on the jars. Tongs will work, but magnetic lid lifters (wands) will make it easier.

  10. Label everything meticulously

    Use a permanent marker to label lids with the month, day and year. This helps you keep track of different batches, rotate your stock and identify batches for comparison purposes.

    Success breeds success. By following these tips and recording your own, you will feel encouraged to pursue the art of home canning in future seasons, and make home food preservation part of your family culture.

TIPS from Others:

  • Kathy
  1. If the kitchen is drafty or you have a window open you can still take jars out of the canner–just slip them under a bath towel as quickly as possible.
  2. Don’t store sealed jars with the bands on them as the bands trap moisture and may become stuck or moldy.
  3. After jars have completely cooled and sealed, give them a bath in warm soapy water to remove any residue from stuff that may have leaked into the canner water. This prevents sticky moldy jars in the pantry.
  4. After you empty your jars, wash them and store upside-down in the boxes to keep them clean until next season&#039s canning. You will still have to wash them before canning, but at least they will be free of dead bugs from your basement 🙂
  • Diane

Here’s another tip to check if the jars are sealed.

  1. After they’ve cooled (give them a day) take a pen or pencil and tap the center of each lid. You’ll notice the difference in sound as you tap.Sealed jars make a ping like note. Unsealed jars make a plunk. So you’ll hear a ping, ping, ping, plunk. The plunk is the one not sealed.


  • Ruby

Hi I was wondering if anyone has tried canning homemade tomato soup with noodles in it.

I make a hamburger, macaroni, and tomato soup that I would love to can.

I’m not sure if I would use my pressure canner of hot water canner. Any advice.

  • Greg Seaman
  1. You should use the pressure canner if you will be including meat in the soup.
  2. Also, it is common to add a bit of lemon juice when canning tomatoes, about 1 tablespoon per pint. You can add it bit of sugar to offset the citrus as an option.
  3. You should consult a good reference (the USDA is an excellent reference for canning) because different foods have different storage characteristics.
    The quality can go down over several years, but we find that the canned foods rarely spoil.

Tons & Tons of PLUMS

Posted on

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.


  • 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
  • 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
  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

  • 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
  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


  • 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


  • 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

    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)


    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.

    • 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)
    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.”


    Adapted from Chocolates & Dreams



    • Plum Cobbler


    • 2 litre or 3½ ovenproof dish

    Oven Temperatures

    preheated oven, 190C 375F GM5


    • 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


    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

    • 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

    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.

    • 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.


    • 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)


    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.

    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:

    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:


    • 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


    • 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.


    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.


    • 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


    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.


    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:


    • 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.


    • 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


    • 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.


    • 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


    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

    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


    • 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