Nothing beats the perfect plum — sweet, juicy flesh encased in slightly tart skin. It’s like biting into summer, literally. There are several varieties of plums, but the base flavors are about the same.
You’ll find fresh plums available from June through October. The longer they’re allowed to ripen, the sweeter they become. Look for plums that are plump with smooth, unblemished skin. When ripe, the flesh of most plum varieties should give slightly when squeezed gently, though green and yellow plums remain firm even when ripe.
Under-ripe plums are best for cooking or making preserves. To ripen them, place them in a brown, paper bag for a couple of days. Once ripe, store them in the refrigerator.
Plums are high in Vitamin C and antioxidants and their skin is rich in fiber. They’re excellent on their own as a snack and are delicious in both sweet and savory dishes.
My Maryland plums came from Pong’s Orchard in Fulton, MD.
Crostatas are the perfect dessert for casual cooks. They’re free-form, fruit-filled tarts baked on a baking sheet instead of in a pie plate or tart pan. A refrigerated pie crust saves time and the stress that can come with trying to make a perfect pie crust from scratch.
If you don’t have plum preserves on hand, apricot or any other mild-flavored preserve or jam will work just as well.
Rolling your pie crust out on the baking sheet lined with parchment keeps your dough from sticking and eliminates the tricky step of transferring your rolled out dough onto the baking sheet. It’s already there!
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Picking the perfect plum!