It’s Plum Amazing!

Prunus cultivar (mature fruits with natural wax bloom)

Prunus cultivar (mature fruits with natural wax bloom)

It’s plum time in Ontario!

Plums are just one of Ontario’s fruit tree crops. They are a member of the rose family and sport pretty blossoms in May like their cousins. The medium-sized trees sport juicy, smooth fruit which is hard to resist for anyone who has eaten one.

Bluefre plums

You can find plums in area farmers markets and grocery stores from late July through to October. While we do have a native wild plum (Prunus americana) that grows edible fruit, the predominant plums grown here are of Japanese and European cultivars. Japanese plums tend to be yellow or red and European varieties are blue; all are edible.

Table 2. Average First Harvest Dates for European and Japanese Plum
CultivarDateCultivarDate
Early Golden*
July 28
VampireTMAug 29
VibrantTM
Aug 7
VioletteTMSept 10
Shiro*
Aug. 11
StanleySept. 18
ValerieTM
Aug. 14
ValorSept. 19
VanetteTM
Aug. 17
DamsonSept. 20
Ozark Premier*
Aug. 26
VictorySept. 22
Burbank*
Aug. 29
ItalianSept. 26
Vanier*
Aug. 29
VisionOct. 1

For those watching their weight, you have found an excellent choice in juicy plums! Plums contain vitamin C, A, and K, plus fibre, iron, magnesium, potassium, and a measly 30 calories per plum. They all can be eaten raw, but yellow varieties, like Shiro and Early Golden, lend themselves well to baking as well. The European prune types are also suited to drying or cooking.

Don’t take our word for it though. You cannot beat snacking on a local plum dripping with juice. If you are lucky enough to come across a decent harvest of them, they can be eaten raw, frozen, dried (prunes), or tucked into your favourite recipe. Can we tempt you with one that’ll make your mouth water? Delicious!

Brown Butter Blue Plum Skillet Cake*

Brown Butter Blue Plum Skillet Cake

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp (1/4 cup + 1tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • Pinch Cinnamon
  • Pinch Cardamom (optional)
  • 4 Small, ripe blue plums, seeds discarded and thinly sliced into wedges
  • 2 tsp Coarse sugar like Turbinado (or granulated sugar if you can’t find coarse)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and place oven rack in the middle.

Melt 4 tbsp of butter in a hot skillet over medium heat and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until it starts to foam. Remove the pan from the heat and continue to swirl as the butter finished browning (5-7 minutes), it should smell nutty but not burnt.

Whisk in the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour the buttermilk/brown butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir only until batter is smooth. Don’t overmix.

Grease skillet with remaining 1 tbsp butter and pour batter in. Top with sliced plums and bake until golden around the edges or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.

  • *Recipe from OntarioTenderFruit.ca