English plums are in – almost three weeks early due to that very warm spring.
They’ve been eaten for centuries in England and now there are hundreds of varieties which include damsons and greengages – do look out for some as they are delicious and as ever, far better than any imports during the rest of the year.
Varieties include the early dusky pink Opals, Belle, the popular Victoria, blue-black Marjorie’s Seedling, Imperial and Gage.
They range from tart to very sweet, for cooking or eating and in a range of rich colours from light greens and yellows to dark reds and purples.
- Healthy – good source of potassium, fibre, vitamins A and C. Rich in antioxidants and contains amino acidtryptophan, used by the body to produce the feel good neurotransmitter serotonin.
- Serve – simply eaten raw or baked with demerara sugar, as a plum clafoutis, in a crumble with hazelnuts, as tart tatin, see Dan’s recipe below as well as plum sauce for Chinese cooking, with chicken and soy, spiced duck, plum jam, gingery plum cake or a plum vodka.
- Freeze – open freeze them, ie arrange on a baking tray making sure halves aren’t touching and freeze until solid then place in bags back in the freezer or try bottling them.