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Cherry plums are petit, the size and shape of ping pong balls, near perfectly rounded with a slight groove near the fruit's stem end. The skin is paper thin and flushed with cherry tones and peach speckles and hues. The flesh is marbled with tones of peach and cherry, succulent and tender with bold and bright flavors. At first bite, the fruit is sweet and spicy and then it finishes with a perfect kiss of tart to balance the sub acid sweetness. The Cherry plum contains a small central pit that clings gently to the flesh.
Cherry plums are available in the summer.
Cherry plums, botanical name Prunus cerasifera, are a stone fruit and member of the Rosaceae family. There are dozens of Cherry plum cultivars chosen for their fruit whereas many Cherry plum trees are often grown for ornamental purposes. Such varieties are selected for their bold purple foliage and fragrant and attractive spring blossoms. All Cherry plum trees produce edible fruit, though they are classified as a cooking cultivar. The most common commercial varieties of Cherry plums are Thundercloud and Newport.
As Cherry plums are considered a benchmark cooking plum, sure bets would be to preserve and jam, make pies and crumbles, but fresh-eating should be the first choice to experience the unique flavors of the Cherry plum. Complimentary pairings include other stone fruits such as peaches, apricots and almonds, berries, vanilla, cream, chocolate and yogurt. Savory pairings to consider include salad greens such as arugula and mizuna, herbs such as basil and cilantro, cheeses both aged and fresh including cheddar and chevre, grilled seafood and roasted meats such as lamb and pork. Store ripe Cherry plums in the crisper for up to one week.
The Cherry plum is native to Asia. It is said to be a direct parent of the European plum, P. domestica. The trees are deciduous, cold hardy and drought tolerant. They are however prone to disease and pests. Trees grow rapidly and their life span short lived, 20 years. Trees can be propagated by seed or grafting. Cherry plum trees are often used as rootstock for other plum cultivars, especially European varieties.
Recipes that include Cherry Plums. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Tasty Kitchen||Cherry Plum Jam|
|Autumn Makes and Does||Plum Lemon Verbena Jam|
|Honest Cooking||Cherry Plum Clafoutis Cups|
|Norfolk Kitchen||Cherry Plum Cordial|
|Geez Louise!||Olive Oil Cake with Cherry Plums & Almond Cream|
|The Guardian||Cherry Plum Wine|
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