Plums: A Guide to Buying, Cooking With, and Storing Prunus domestica

Audai Mousa3 November 20238 viewsLast Update :

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on plums, the delicious and versatile fruit that can add a burst of flavor and nutrition to your diet. Plums come in various shapes, sizes, and colors and are grown on plum trees, making them a delightful addition to any garden.

Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, plums offer numerous health benefits, from improving digestion to boosting immunity. In addition, plums are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of delicious recipes, both sweet and savory.

Whether you’re looking to buy the perfect plums, store them properly, or grow your own plum tree, our guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about Prunus domestica.

Key Takeaways

  • Plums are a versatile and delicious fruit that come in various colors, shapes, and sizes.
  • They belong to the Prunus domestica species and are typically grown on plum trees.
  • Plums offer numerous health benefits, including improved digestion and immunity.
  • Plums can be used in a variety of recipes, from sweet desserts to savory dishes.
  • Our guide will provide you with everything you need to know about buying, storing, and cooking with plums.

What Are Plums?

Plum Varieties

You’ve likely eaten plums before, but do you know what they really are? Plums are small, juicy fruits that belong to the Prunus domestica species. This tree fruit has been enjoyed for thousands of years and comes in various shapes, sizes, and colors, depending on the plum variety.

Plums are typically grown on a plum tree, which can reach heights of up to six metres and produce an abundance of fruit. Plum trees are deciduous, and their leaves turn gold in the autumn before falling off for the winter.

What Are the Different Plum Varieties?

There are many different types of plums available in Australia, each with unique characteristics and flavours. Here are some of the most common plum varieties:

Plum Variety Flavour Appearance
Black Doris Sweet and tangy Dark purple skin, yellow flesh
Angelino Sweet and delicate Reddish-purple skin, yellow flesh
Omega Sweet and juicy Blue-black skin, red flesh
Satsuma Very sweet Deep purple skin, orange flesh

These are just a few of the many plum varieties available in Australia. Regardless of the type of plum, you can be sure it will be sweet, juicy, and packed with nutrients.

Health Benefits of Plums


Plums are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients that provide various health benefits for your body. This is why incorporating plums into your diet is a great way to promote overall well-being!

Firstly, plums are a great source of vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps protect your body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone health, while vitamin A is important for vision, immune function, and cellular growth.

Plums are also rich in minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and iron. Potassium is important for regulating blood pressure and maintaining heart health. Magnesium is crucial for bone health, muscle function, and energy production. Iron is necessary for oxygen transport and the production of red blood cells.

In addition to vitamins and minerals, plums are packed with antioxidants that protect your body from oxidative stress and inflammation. These antioxidants include phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, which can help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Furthermore, plums are an excellent source of fiber, which is crucial for maintaining digestive health and preventing constipation. Eating fiber-rich foods like plums can also help you feel full and satisfied, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Overall, plums are a nutritious and delicious fruit that provides various health benefits. So the next time you’re craving a sweet snack, reach for a plum and enjoy its goodness!

Choosing the Best Plums

When it comes to buying plums, selecting the best ones can make all the difference in your recipes. Not only will you get to enjoy the juiciest and most flavorful fruit, but you’ll also get the most nutritional benefits. Follow these tips to buy the best plums:

  1. Look for plums that have deep and rich colors. Depending on the variety, plums can range from deep purple and red to yellow and green. Choose plums that are vibrant in color and free from blemishes or bruises.
  2. Give the plum a gentle squeeze. Ideally, the plum should yield slightly to pressure without feeling too soft, which could indicate overripe fruit.
  3. Smell the plum. Ripe plums should have a sweet and fragrant aroma. If there is little to no scent, it may not be fully ripe or may have been stored improperly.
  4. Check the stem. The stem should be intact, not broken or missing, and should not have any signs of mold or decay.

When buying plums, it’s also helpful to know the different varieties available:

Plum Variety Appearance Flavor
Black Amber Deep purple skin, amber flesh Sweet with a hint of tartness
Red Beaut Reddish-purple skin, orange-yellow flesh Sweet, juicy, and aromatic
Yellow Egg Yellow skin, orange flesh Firm and mildly sweet

Now that you know how to choose the best plums, you can confidently select the juiciest and most flavorful fruit for your recipes. Happy shopping!

Storing Plums

Storing Plums

Properly storing plums is essential to keep them fresh and extend their shelf life. Follow these tips to ensure your plums stay juicy and delicious:

  • Store plums unwashed and uncut in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • If storing in the fridge, place plums in a paper bag or wrap them in a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
  • Do not store plums with ethylene-producing fruits such as apples or bananas, as this can cause them to ripen too quickly.
  • Use ripe plums within a few days, while firmer ones can last up to a week or more.

By properly storing your plums, you can enjoy their sweet and tangy flavor for longer periods.

Cooking with Plums

Plum Recipes

Plums are a versatile fruit that can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. From breakfast to dinner, there are countless ways to incorporate plums into your cooking.

One of the most popular ways to use plums is in desserts. Plum tart is a classic French dessert that is both elegant and delicious. Simply slice plums and arrange them on a pastry crust, then bake until golden brown. For a twist on the classic, add almond paste or a drizzle of honey.

If you’re looking for something simpler, try grilling plums and serving them with a dollop of Greek yogurt and honey. The heat from the grill caramelizes the natural sugars in the fruit, creating a sweet and tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with the cool yogurt.

For a savory dish, try using plums in a marinade for chicken or pork. Combine plums with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, then let the meat marinate for several hours before grilling. The result is a juicy and flavorful dish that’s perfect for summer barbecues.

To add a pop of color and sweetness to your salad, try adding sliced plums to a bed of greens. Top with goat cheese and almonds for a delicious and nutritious salad that’s sure to impress.

Whether you’re making a sweet dessert or a savory main course, plums add a unique flavor that will elevate any dish. Experiment with different recipes and techniques to unlock the full potential of this versatile fruit.

The Plum Season in Australia

If you’re a fan of plums, it’s important to know when they’re in season to ensure the freshest and most flavorful fruit. In Australia, the plum season runs from December to April, with the peak harvest season occurring in January and February. During this time, you can find a range of plum varieties available in local markets and grocery stores.

One of the most popular plum varieties in Australia is the Blood Plum, also known as Satsuma plum. This medium-sized fruit has a dark red skin and juicy, sweet flesh, making it ideal for eating fresh or using in desserts. Other varieties you may come across during the season include the Angelina, Narrabeen, and Wickson plums, each with their own unique flavor profile and uses in cooking.

When selecting plums during the season, look for fruit that is plump and firm to the touch, with a slight give when squeezed. Avoid plums that are too hard or too soft, as they may be underripe or overripe, respectively. It’s also important to check for any signs of bruising or excessive blemishes, as this can affect the quality of the fruit.

To get the most out of the plum season, try incorporating them into your cooking and baking. From sweet plum cakes to savory plum sauces, there are plenty of delicious recipes to explore. You can also enjoy plums on their own as a healthy snack or use them to make jams and preserves for later use.

Growing Your Own Plum Tree

Have you ever wanted to enjoy the taste and freshness of plums straight from your own backyard? Growing your own plum tree is easier than you might think, and it can be a rewarding experience.

Before you start planting, it’s important to choose the right type of plum tree for your location. In Australia, some popular varieties include Satsuma, Mariposa, and Narrabeen. Make sure to select a tree that is suitable for your climate and has enough space to grow.

Plum trees thrive in well-drained soil with plenty of sunshine. If you’re unsure about the quality of your soil, consider getting it tested before planting. The optimal planting time is in winter, while the tree is dormant.

Once you have your tree in the ground, it’s important to maintain it properly. Water the tree regularly, especially during dry spells, and fertilize it once a year with a balanced fertilizer. Prune the tree after it has fruited to remove any dead or damaged branches.

After a few years, your tree should start producing fruit. Plums usually ripen in the summer, and you can tell they are ready by gently squeezing them. If the fruit feels soft, it’s ripe and ready to harvest.

Benefits of Growing Your Own Plum Tree

Growing your own plum tree has many benefits, including:

  • Fresh and delicious plums right from your own backyard
  • Increased control over the quality and safety of your fruit
  • A sustainable and eco-friendly way to enjoy plums
  • Cost savings over buying plums from the market
  • A fun and rewarding outdoor activity

If you’re interested in growing your own plum tree, why not give it a try? With a little bit of patience and care, you can enjoy the sweet taste of plums straight from your own garden.

Irresistible Plum Desserts

If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love these delectable plum desserts. Whether you’re looking for a tasty treat to indulge in or want to impress your guests, these recipes are sure to satisfy your cravings.

Plum Crumble

A classic crumble is the perfect way to showcase the sweet, tangy flavor of plums. Mix chopped plums with sugar and a touch of cinnamon, then top with a buttery crumble made of flour, oats, and brown sugar. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the plums are soft and juicy. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a heavenly dessert.

Plum Tart

For an elegant dessert that looks as good as it tastes, try a plum tart. Roll out a buttery pastry crust and fill it with sliced plums and a sweet custard. Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is set, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with a drizzle of honey or a spoonful of whipped cream.

Plum Sorbet

If you’re looking for a refreshing dessert that’s perfect for hot summer days, try a plum sorbet. Puree fresh plums with sugar and lemon juice, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The result is a smooth and tangy sorbet that’s bursting with flavor.

Plum Pie

A classic pie is a great way to use up a large quantity of plums. Fill a buttery pie crust with sliced plums and a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon, then cover with a second crust and bake until golden brown. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delicious treat that’s perfect for any occasion.

With these irresistible plum desserts, you’ll never run out of ideas for how to use this delicious fruit. Try them all and discover your new favorite way to enjoy plums.


Congratulations, you have now become an expert on plums and all things Prunus domestica! Whether you prefer to buy plums at the market or grow your own plum tree, there are countless ways to enjoy the delicious and nutritious fruit.

From the health benefits of plums to the different varieties available during the plum season in Australia, you now know everything there is to know about this versatile fruit. Plus, with a wide range of plum recipes available, you can easily incorporate plums into your cooking and baking.

Tips for Enjoying Plums:

  • Choose plums that are firm, plump, and have a smooth skin for optimal taste and texture.
  • Store plums in the fridge or freezer to extend their shelf life and preserve their flavor.
  • Try incorporating plums into your favorite recipes, such as plum tarts, plum-glazed chicken, or even plum sorbet for a sweet treat.
  • Consider growing your own plum tree to enjoy fresh, locally grown plums all season long.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through the world of Plunus domestica. We hope you have found this comprehensive guide to be informative and helpful in your pursuit of all things plum. Happy cooking and enjoy the sweetness of plums all year round!


What are plums?

Plums are small, juicy fruits that belong to the Prunus domestica species. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors and are typically grown on plum trees.

What are the health benefits of plums?

Plums are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, providing numerous health benefits. They can boost immunity, improve digestion, and promote overall well-being.

How do I choose the best plums?

When buying plums, look for ripe and fresh ones. Choose plums that are firm but yield slightly to gentle pressure. Avoid plums with bruises or blemishes.

How should I store plums?

To store plums, keep them in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Alternatively, you can refrigerate them in a plastic bag to extend their shelf life. Avoid washing plums until ready to use.

What are some delicious plum recipes?

Plums can be used in a variety of recipes, including plum tarts, plum cakes, plum-glazed chicken, and more. Get creative in the kitchen and explore the delightful world of plum cooking.

When is the plum season in Australia?

The plum season in Australia typically runs from late spring to early autumn. This is the best time to enjoy locally grown plums and explore the different varieties available during this period.

Can I grow my own plum tree?

Yes, you can! Growing your own plum tree can be a rewarding experience. Follow the proper steps and tips for successfully growing and caring for a plum tree in your own backyard.

What are some irresistible plum desserts?

Indulge in the sweetness of plums with delicious desserts like plum crumbles, plum pies, and plum sorbets. These irresistible treats will satisfy your sweet tooth and impress your guests.

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