When Are Sugar Plums Ripe
Edward R. Forte
November 24, 2021
The dense texture of the Sugar plum is full of rich, complex and appropriately confectionary sweet flavors that deepen as the fruit ripens.Sugar plums are available during the summer.The Sugar plum is plum is a stone fruit cultivar within the genus, Prunus, which includes cherries, apricots, peaches and almonds.Sugar plum is the given name to a variety of self-pollinating Italian plums.They are great for fresh eating, for using as a dessert ingredient, processed into jam and preserve form and simply added to sweet and savory salads.They also go by the name of Italian prune plums, or Empress plums, or simply prune plums.There are three different classifications of plums: Japanese, European and American.Oneis easiest, three is harder.People have shared Sugar Plums using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.Produce Sharing allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! .
I saw these babies at the market a couple of years ago and couldn’t resist taking them home:.Unfortunately, though they were called French Sugar Plums, they weren’t very sweet, and the lack of juiciness was unexpectedly disappointing.But because I’d bought a whole pound of them anticipating snacks to last us at least a week, I started surfing the Internet for how I could use them up.Their tiny little oval shapes wink at you as the syrupy topping settles into the crevices left by their big, fat pits (you don’t see syrupy topping in the link?), and the heat of the oven transforms their blah generic flavor into something layered, complex, concentrated with sugar but not overwhelmingly sweet.So finally I decided to fiddle and futz, and now, if I do say so myself, it is the greatest coffee cake in the history of the universe.It’s amazingly easy, moist, beautiful, and easily swappable with apples, pears, or other fruits that are not particularly juicy – I wouldn’t use peaches or overly ripe pears or something along those lines because the juice runs out underneath the seam of the pan and makes you have to clean your oven afterwards.But feel free to swap out another liquor or flavor of your choice as well – I’m not a fan of orange myself, but I think cranberries or pears and cointreau might be very nice….The easiest way to remove the pit is to simply cut in half, and twist:.Mix flour, baking powder, salt and 1 tsp of cinnamon.Press plum halves skin side down in concentric circles (if you want it to be pretty).Spoon remaining syrup in bowl over the top of the cake.Wrinkled skin means they’re on their way to prune-town; too soft means you’ll definitely need to cook them (but these should really be cooked when fresh for best flavor anyway, and if you’re making cake or sauce, the wrinkled ones will plump right up with a little liquid…) Small bruises and brown spots can be easily cut out; large scales are a bad sign.Imported plums are high on the lists for pesticide use, though domestic aren’t bad.Because of their small size and subtler sweetness, they’re also ideal for use with dark meats or game, like chicken thighs, rabbit, lamb and duck.If they start to shrivel and get prune-looking, they’re still great for baking though less tasty for eating raw. .
Will Plums Ripen After Being Picked?
Commercially available plums either ripen at room temperature, or they are treated with ethylene gas.Two types of plums are on the market: Japanese plums (Prunus salinas) and European plums (Prunus domestica).European freestone plums have a pit that easily detaches from the fruit and flesh that ranges from yellow to purple.When picking plums off the tree, look for a few key signs that they’re fully ripe.Do Yellow Plums Ripen Off the Tree?If you’re picking plums before they’re ripe, you can ripen them, but they have the best flavor if they ripen on trees.Unripe plums will fully ripen after about two weeks.The color of the plums will change as they ripen. .
Sugar Plums: They're Not What You Think They Are
These famous lines you will surely recognize from the beginning of one of America's most beloved poems, Clement Clark Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas," a.k.a.It is understandable that well-meaning frutivores would assume that the traditional practice of preserving plums by boiling in sugar would result in something that would obviously correspond to the term.All of these terms name a sweet made of sugar hardened around a central seed or kernel in successive layers using a process called "panning.".Until the advent of machine innovations, comfits or sugar plums were a luxury good, most likely to be found in an aristocrat's pocket or between courses at a banquet.Trollope spells out the metaphor: "The chances are she won't have you—that's of course; plums like that don't fall into a man's mouth merely for shaking the tree.".By the 1860s, candy makers were using steam heat and mechanized rotating pans, so that less-skilled workers could make larger batches more easily.The falling price of sugar and the invention of labor-saving machinery meant all manner of small candies were heaping up on the confectioner's counter.And by a process of lexical expansion and generalization, all of this candy, especially the small and the round or ovoid, could also be called sugar plum.This all explains something that long puzzled me about the political dynamics of the Land of the Sweets in Act Two of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet.I don't know what exactly Clement Moore had in mind when he imagined sleeping children's heads full of "visions of sugar plums.". .
When Does Plum Season Begin (and End)?
From cherries to peaches to plums, some of the sweetest, tastiest tree grown food on earth are stone fruits.hey are so many colors of plums - black, purple, red, yellow, and everything in between.Plums are generally in season somewhere in the United States from the end of May all the way into October.California is the number 1 producer of plums in the United States.My home state of Michigan ranks 4th in plum production.Stanley plums are available right around the start of apple season in September.Because we import a lot of fruit in this country, you can find plums in the store year round.A guy named Chip Brantley wrote a fascinating read on pluots called The Perfect Fruit. .
How to Make Awesome Jam From Fresh Plums
Over the course of the three weeks during which the tree was bearing ripe fruit, I picked over 80 pounds of plums.Start with super-ripe plums.Eventually the plums break down and you can make jam—but the process is much easier if you macerate the plums the day before and let them rest in the fridge overnight, so that the sugar can draw out flavorful juices and dissolve.Eventually the plums break down and you can make jam—but the process is much easier if you macerate the plums the day before and let them rest in the fridge overnight, so that the sugar can draw out flavorful juices and dissolve.Because sugar contributes to proper jam texture, you need to add a secondary gelling agent that works even without sugar.Because sugar contributes to proper jam texture, you need to add a secondary gelling agent that works even without sugar.Most plum jam recipes I've seen out there call for lemon juice for flavor balance and textural adjustment.But after trying jam with lemon juice and jam without, side by side, in various quantities, I've found that even a small amount distracts from the fresh plum flavor.Most plum jam recipes I've seen out there call for lemon juice for flavor balance and textural adjustment.But after trying jam with lemon juice and jam without, side by side, in various quantities, I've found that even a small amount distracts from the fresh plum flavor.I cut my plums into quarters and let them break down naturally as they cook.This creates a nice chunky texture with juicy pieces of plum in the final mix.How to Make Plum Jam From Fresh Plums.Step 1: Pit and Quarter the Plums.You should end up with a pit with just a bit of flesh stuck to it.Step 4: Start Cooking.The key to great flavor is to use a really wide-mouthed pan.Add the plum mixture to your pot, and stir in four teaspoons of calcium water.Running them through a food mill will break them down to give you a smoother texture in the finished jam.Step 6: Keep Cooking and Skim.Keep cooking the plums—you want to cook them down enough that they reduce by about one-quarter.A small amount of butter added to the pot will also help reduce foaming.Step 8: Clean and Fill Your Jars.Step 9: Process the Jars. .