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Seasonal Produce: Plums

Sweet succulent plums are part of the stone fruit family. There are more than 100 varieties cultivated in the U.S. and they all fall into two main categories: Japanese or European.

Purchasing

  • Select plums that are plump with a sweet aroma and free of bruises and shriveled spots.
  • Skins should have full color (red plums should look mainly red and purple plums mainly purple).
  • A dull white film or “bloom” on the skins is natural and indicates freshness.
  • If fruit is to be used immediately, select plums that yield to gentle pressure and are slightly soft. Avoid any that feel very soft.
  • If ripening fruit at home, select plums that are firm, but not hard.
  • Ripen firm plums in a loosely closed paper (not plastic) bag at room temperature for 1 to 2 days. Check often for ripeness as plums are fairly perishable and ripen quickly.
  • Plums are ripe when they yield to gentle pressure.
  • Use ripe plums immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Do not refrigerate unripe plums as this inhibits the ripening process and causes the fruit to become dry, mealy and flavorless.

Preparing

  • Plums are usually used with their skins intact. Wash the fruit before cutting.
  • Remove the pits from freestone plums before slicing. Cut in half around the seam to the pit. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate them. Pull out the pit.
  • Clingstone plums cannot be pitted. To slice or quarter, make cuts with a paring knife toward the center and then around the pit, lifting out each slice.
  • Taste plums before cooking. Tart varieties may require a bit more sugar than a recipe specifies. Balance the flavor of sweeter varieties with a drizzle of lemon juice.
  • Avoid overcooking plums as the flesh breaks down into a purée.

Nutrition

  • Excellent source of vitamin C.
  • Low in sodium.

      Serving

      • Toss sliced plums into your favorite fruit or green salad.
      • Top pancakes and waffles with sliced plums, toasted PLANTER Pecan Pieces and maple-flavored syrup.
      • Add sliced plums to a cheese tray with KRAFT Sharp Cheddar Cheese and ATHENOS Blue Cheese. Serve with assorted NABISCO Crackers for an easy appetizer.
      • Top shortcakes with sliced plums instead of strawberries.
      • Bake into juicy pies, tarts, cobblers or crisps.
      • Poach plum halves in spiced white wine or fruit juice and serve alone or over ice cream or pound cake.
      • Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon, orange, poultry and pork pair well with plums.
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