This year has seen plum trees laden with fruit. Whether in gardens, hedgrows or on road sides, you cannot have failed to notice the abundance and variety of plums.
Victoria, Damson, Bullace, Mirabelle, Cherry plum, Csar, Greengage, Early Laxton, Merryweather, ……….
There are so many things you can do with plums, so if the mood takes you go picking…
If you are going to forage think:
- Where are you foraging and whose land is it on?
- The tree or shrub is living; don’t damage it by breaking branches etc.
- Only pick what you need, leave some for other foragers.
- Wild life feed on wild fruit and berries. Leave some for them.
- Do not leave litter, plastic bags etc.
- Why not take a spare bag and collect some litter, giving something back to nature?
Most varieties of plums are edible. Some are sweeter than others. If in doubt, check. A good website to start checking is http://www-saps.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/trees/index.htm
Once you’ve picked them here are some suggestions of what to do with them……
Although must plums are edible they are not all palatable unless cooked. Once cooked the flavours intensify and the most sour or bland plum becomes an explosion of taste.
Many plums have stones which are difficult to remove, you can make jellies or cheeses (stiff jelly, like membrillo, great with cheese and meats) with these if you can’t face removing the stones.
- Eat them! Once picked they keep for a few days (best eaten at room temperature). They also ripen once picked.
- Freeze them uncooked to be used to make jams, jellies and cakes.
- Stew them, keep in the fridge and eat with yoghurt or just on their own for a snack, or freeze them.
- Make jams, jellies or cheese.
- Cook up a lovely chutney with apple and spices.
- Bake a torte (or cake), a crumble, a pie …
- Make plum brandy.
- Bottle some plums to eat with ice-cream.
- Make a spicy plum sauce to add to stir fries or serve with pork.
- Make any of the above and give to a friend or neighbour as a gift.