Let's Get Dirty | All Blogs


Plum assignment

By Laurena Mayne Davis

Harvesting Italian plums on the last fruit-laden tree in our backyard orchard last weekend was bittersweet. Fruit season for both birds and Davises starts with mulberries in June, then apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines and finally plums. There will be less orchard and canning work now, but no more picking breakfast off the trees in the mornings. Guess I better buy some cereal.

Harvest is a good time to reflect on what went right and what to change for the next season. Plucking blue-frosted fruit in the fall morning light, I assessed what worked: The rabbit manure greened things up nicely. The amount of water was right. We hire a licensed sprayer; I never have to worry about insects.

But there are things I'll do differently. The tree is gangly; I need to revise my pruning approach. I also had thinned, but not enough. I need to get more ruthless with my thinning.

My basketful of plums in the course of a day became Plum and Vanilla Jam and two plum cakes. My kids made plum smoothies, and I had plenty to share with my mother-in-law and a friend for their own jam. We still had a bowlful left over for snacking.

Italian plums are purple with light-green flesh. They have less moisture than red plums and are easily dried for prunes. The Plum and Vanilla Jam is from a recipe by Susan Herrmann Loomis in "French Farmhouse Cookbook." It's worth popping $6 a vanilla bean to inhale that unadulterated, flowery vanilla scent as the jam simmers.

There are a lot of delicious, low-sugar jam recipes. This old-fashioned jam is not one of them.

Plum and Vanilla Jam
5 pounds Italian plums, pitted and chopped
7 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean

Mix fruit and sugar in a nonreactive pot and cover. Let set 12 hours.
Add vanilla bean and boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to low boil and skim off foam.
Cook until thickened, about 18 minutes.

(I water-bathed the jars for 5 minutes.)
 

This cake's equally delicious. It's adapted from a recipe by Marian Burros, food writer for The New York Times.

Plum Cake
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the above and add two eggs. Blend, then spread in the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan.
Pit and quarter 15 Italian plums. Toss them with sugar, cinnamon, and the zest and juice of a lemon. Place the plums, cut side up, on top of the batter. Drizzle any juice over. Bake an hour. Serve with whipped cream or creme fraiche.


 

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
Tomatillos vs ground cherries
By Penny Stine
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

“Penny Pinching” an expensive recipe
By Julie Norman
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Touching the Sky
By Ann Driggers
Monday, July 28, 2014

Happiness is having a good neck pillow
By Melinda Mawdsley
Monday, July 28, 2014

Squirrling away for winter…
By Julie Norman
Monday, July 28, 2014


TOP JOBS
  • Diesel Mechanic

     Wanted experienced diesel engine mechanic with engine elect...

  • Water Haulers

    WANT MORE HOURS? KnowlesEnterprises, LL...

  • Laungdro-mat, Part-time

    Laundro-mat hiring, part time, 2 nights per week. Apply in person between...

  • Receptionist

    Moody Insurance is seeking a Full-Time to join our Grand...

  • Cleta Faculty

    Technology Support Specialist ISpring Valley CampusGlenwood Sprin...





THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Sign in to your account
Information

© 2014 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy