How to Pick and Store Plums

Black Doris Plum harvestThere’s a small window, a perfect moment when fruit is ripe for picking. The only way you catch it is by keeping an eye on your crops. With a plum, I reckon it’s just before it hits the ground. Pick your plums when the skin has that gorgeous dusky bloom on it and when the slightest touch knocks them from the branch. I cup the plums in my hand and wiggle my fingers, if they come away easily they are perfect – no tugging required. Dare I say it, its more like fondling than picking.

Plums are at their best at room temperature, so I leave them out for a day or so after picking to enjoy them in their prime. In a perfect world I get any preserving done in this window while flavour is optimum – bottle, dry, sauce, freeze, chutney, paste or jam to my hearts content – plums suit all these methods.

Any remaining after a couple of days need to get into the fridge. Put them into the crisper in a plastic bag where they’ll keep really well for a week, maybe more. No fruit or vegetable is same after refrigeration, but it’s either that or have the whole lot go squishy on you.

Tamaki

Tamaki plums

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