If you have a plum tree in your polytunnel or elsewhere in your garden, you may be amazed by the quantity of fruit that you can sometimes harvest from just one small tree! When harvest time rolls around, you may be left wondering what on earth you are going to do with all the delicious fruits. To help you make sure that none of these delicious fruits go to waste, here are some ideas to help you make the most of your plum harvest:
Eat Your Plum Harvest Fresh From the Tree
While you may not be able to eat all the plums you grow fresh from the tree, it is important to make sure that you do enjoy at least a few in this way. Eat a plum or two in a fruit salad, or even as part of a savoury salad in place of grapes. Enjoy plums fresh with cream, or ice cream as dessert, or just as a snack on the go.
Make Plum Jam
Plums lend themselves extremely well to making jam. There are a range of plum jam recipes to choose from. Basic plum jam can be made with just plums and sugar, though you can also experiment by adding other things – for example, you can make a delicious spiced plum jam by adding ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg…
Make Plum Chutney
If you are not a huge fan of sweet jams, you could also consider making a more savoury plum preserve. This can be eaten with curries, in sandwiches or with crackers and cheese. There are also plenty of recipes for plum chutneys, which are easily customised to suit your own particular tastes. With sugar and vinegar, along with spices to taste, you can make a delicious chutney that will allow you to enjoy your plums over the coming year.
Enjoy Your Plum Harvest in a Range of Sweet and Savoury Recipes
Of course, you don’t need to preserve all your plums. Many can be used shortly after harvesting in a range of sweet and savoury recipes. You could make, for example:
- plum cakes
- plum pudding/ plum duff
- plum sauce (sweet, tart and spicy. Perfect with duck, with fish like mackerel, or with vegetarian dishes such as nut roast)
- plum tabbouleh
- pickled plum salads
These are just some of the many options for making use of these versatile fruits.
Dry Plums To Make Prunes
Another way to make sure that you do not waste any of your plums is to dry them to make prunes. These can be stored for a longer period of time and enjoyed throughout the winter months. In the UK, it is difficult to air dry plums effectively. You can dry plums by cutting them in half, removing the stones, and placing them in the oven on a low temperature for around 8 hours.
How do you use the plums that you grow? Let us know in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.