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Cherry plums are a small variety, approximately the diameter of a quarter, and are nearly perfectly round 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 interior is golden amber and dotted with pinkish burgundy hues near the skin, and a small central pit that clings gently to the flesh. Its soft texture has a juicy consistency with bold and bright flavors. At first bite, the Cherry plum is sweet and spicy and then it finishes with a perfect kiss of tart to balance the sub acid sweetness.
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.
Cherry plums are a good source of potassium, calcium, phosphate, vitamin C and B complex vitamins which have a great importance to the process of metabolism and nervous system health.
While Cherry plums may be eaten fresh, they are considered a benchmark cooking plum, most often prepared as a sweet preserve, peppery chutney or even a sort of plum fruit leather. The fruits are crushed and cleaned of seeds to be rolled out into a sheet of dried fruit pulp. Cherry plums are also good in baked applications such as pies, cakes and crumbles. Complimentary pairings include other stone fruits such as peaches, apricots and almonds, berries, vanilla, cream, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, chocolate and yogurt. Store ripe Cherry plums in the crisper for up to one week.
Cherry plum trees thrive in the Middle East where they are often harvested while the fruit is still underripe, hard and green. At this stage they are known as Persian Sour plums, or Gojeh Sabz in Farsi. The tart green fruits are enjoyed as a snack simply dipped in salt.
The Cherry plum is native to Eurasia, specifically the mountainous areas of Iran in Karaj and the western part of Tehran. 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.
|Autumn Makes and Does||Plum Lemon Verbena Jam|
|The Guardian||Cherry Plum Wine|
|Geez Louise!||Olive Oil Cake with Cherry Plums & Almond Cream|
|Tasty Kitchen||Cherry Plum Jam|
|Honest Cooking||Cherry Plum Clafoutis Cups|
|Norfolk Kitchen||Cherry Plum Cordial|
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