Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!
Nutritional and Other Information
About Plums from
the Barren County Farmers' Market

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Plums are divided into 3 large categories: Japanese plums. Damson plums and European plums, or prunes. The Japanese plum is eaten fresh, canned, and put into jams and jellies. European plums are often called prunes because they can be dried without their pits being removed. In fact, that's the way most people see these plums.

Damson-type plums produce very tart fruit which is used chiefly for cooking and preserving. European-type plums are best for eating fresh and for canning.

90% of the plums grown in this country are grown in California although they are also grown in Idaho, Michigan, Washington, Oregon, and New York. 3/4 of these are Japanese varieties.

Plums are also known in their dried form - prunes although here in the US, most of the prunes available in stores are pitted. Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Selecting a quality product

High quality plums are well shaped, colored, firm and free from defects such as bruising and insect and disease damage. Plums may be various shades of red, blue, green and yellow. Unless you are familiar with the particular variety, it is hard to tell if they are ripe just by their color. The best way to determine if a plum is ripe is to apply gentle pressure to the fruit with the thumb and feel if the flesh is beginning to soften. Do not do this hard enough to harm the fruit. If it is getting soft the fruit should be ready to eat. If not, allow the fruit to ripen for a day or so at room temperature.

Avoid plums that are hard or very soft to the touch, poorly colored or if their skin shows any shriveling, bruises or breaks. Plums are best picked mature but not fully ripe.

Tips on Storage

Store the plums at room temperature (between 51°F and 77°F) until fully ripened and ready to eat. Plums are ripe and ready to eat when they give off a sweet plum aroma and are soft to the touch. Once ripened, store the plums in the refrigerator until eaten but keep them away from ethylene producing fruit so they do not become overripe. Ideal storage conditions for plums is to maintain a temperature of 31 to 32 degrees F and a 90 to 95 percent relative humidity. Under such conditions, storage life of plums is from two to four weeks.

Tips on Preparation

To remove the pit in freestone plums, cut along the seam of the plum to the pit, then twist each half in the opposite direction. The pit can then be easily cut out. The flesh of the clingstone plum clings to the pits so it is best to serve these plums by cutting wedges from the skin to the pit until the whole plum has been cut up. Plums can be peeled easily by blanching them in boiling water for around 30 seconds and then immediately immersed in ice water. The skin of the plums will slip off like those of peaches or tomatoes done in the same way.


Peruvian Chicken with Plums

Serves 8

3-1/2 pounds skinned chicken, cut up
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup diced green bell peppers
2 teaspoons garlic cloves, minced
1 tomato, chopped
1 seeded, diced fresh jalapeno pepper
1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron, Optional
3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 bay leaf
4 quartered fresh plums
4 cups cooked brown rice

Sauté chicken in oil in large nonstick skillet, turning often until golden brown on all sides, about 12 minutes.

Add onion, green pepper and garlic, then sauté 2 minutes longer. Add tomato, jalapeno, saffron, stock and bay leaf.

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add plums and rice, heat.

Serve with extra plum wedges, if desired.

Plum Pierogi

2 eggs
4 cups potatoes; raw; grated, in cold water
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt


1/2 cup sweet cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp (heaping) butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pour brown water off potatoes. Add eggs, flour, salt and mix thoroughly. Make a long narrow roll on a floured board. Cut into 1" pieces and into the center of each press a whole plum. Pull up edges of dough and seal. Drop into boiling salted water and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until they come to the surface.

SAUCE: Mix all ingredients together and heat. When dumplings are done open with two forks, pour sauce over them.

You may substitute 4 cups of mashed, cooked potatoes for the raw potatoes and add 1 tablespoon of milk. These may be filled with chopped meat or chopped fish and fried in butter or deep fried.

Plum Crumb

3 cups purple plums; canned
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg; beaten
1/4 cup melted butter

Cut plums into quarters nad arrange on bottom of a pie plate. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons each of brown and regular sugar.

Mix flour with the 1 cup of sugar and baking powder and the beaten egg, Crumble over top of plums.

Drizzle melted butter over top before putting in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Pflaumenkuchen - Plum Cake

(16 servings)

4 cups flour
3 sticks butter or marg.
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
4 egg yolks (save whites)
1 tbsp vanilla
3 lb purple plums
Apricot or peach jam

Make a dough from the first 6 ingredients, press into cookie sheet with your fingers, forming a rim. Spread thin layer of peach or apricot jam on top of dough. Now put your plums (which have been quartered) in rows on the dough. Beat egg whites slightly and brush over plums, sprinkle two tbsp of flour over egg whites. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. If too sour shake some powdered sugar on top.

This can also be made in the winter substituting apples for the plums.

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