What to do with a surplus of plums?


Plum trees are a common sight in many gardens, and they often produce an abundant harvest. If you find yourself with more plums than you can eat, don’t let them go to waste. There are many delicious and creative ways to use up a surplus of plums.

Assessing the Surplus

Before deciding what to do with your surplus plums, it’s important to assess their quality. Look for any signs of mold or rot, and discard any fruit that is past its prime. Once you have a good idea of how many plums you have and their condition, you can start planning what to do with them.

Making Plum Jam

One classic way to use up a surplus of plums is to make jam. Plum jam is easy to make and can be enjoyed all year round. Simply simmer sliced plums with sugar and lemon juice until they break down into a thick, spreadable consistency. Pour the jam into sterilized jars and seal tightly. This jam can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Creating Plum Chutney

If you’re looking for a savory way to use up your surplus plums, try making a spicy plum chutney. This condiment is perfect for serving with cheese, meat, or as a dip for crackers. To make plum chutney, combine chopped plums with onion, ginger, garlic, sugar, vinegar, and spices like cinnamon and cumin. Simmer the mixture until it thickens, then pour it into sterilized jars and seal tightly.

Baking a Plum Tart

Another delicious way to use up a surplus of plums is to bake them into a tart. A simple plum tart can be made by arranging sliced plums on top of a sheet of puff pastry and baking in the oven until the pastry is golden brown. For a fancier twist, try making a custard-based plum tart or adding other fruits like raspberries or blackberries.

Making Plum Sorbet

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing more refreshing than a scoop of homemade plum sorbet. To make plum sorbet, blend ripe plums with sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker, then transfer to a container and freeze until firm.

Canning Plum Slices

If you have a surplus of plums that are starting to go soft, consider canning them for later use. To can plum slices, blanch the fruit in boiling water for a minute, then transfer them to sterilized jars. Cover the plums with a syrup made of sugar and water, leaving a half-inch of headspace. Process the jars in a water bath canner for 20-30 minutes, then let them cool and store in a cool, dark place.

Creating Plum Sauce

Plum sauce is a versatile condiment that can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries to marinades. To make plum sauce, combine chopped plums with sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Simmer the mixture until it thickens, then blend it until smooth. Pour the sauce into sterilized jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Freezing Plum Puree

If you don’t have time to process your plums immediately, consider freezing them for later use. To freeze plum puree, simply blend ripe plums until smooth, then transfer the puree to freezer-safe containers or bags. Plum puree can be used in smoothies, baked goods, or as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal.

Donating to Local Food Banks

Finally, if you have more plums than you can use and don’t want them to go to waste, consider donating them to a local food bank or shelter. Many organizations welcome fresh produce donations, and your surplus plums could help provide nutritious meals to those in need. Contact your local food bank to find out their donation policies and drop-off locations.

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Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

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