Organic gardener growing food and flowers, lovin' pollinators and birds.

Plum season: Ideas for how to use your harvest


Satsuma plums with nasturtium blossoms.

I'm enjoying a prolific year of plums from the front garden, and at last count, I had harvested more than 10 pounds of the purple Satsuma and yellow Shiro plums.* These two varieties are pollinators for each other, and this year I did add honeybee lures to help boost pollination. Looks like it worked!

The harvest began at the end of July with the Shiro plums ripening first, and this year I was able to enjoy less competition from the squirrels. The secret? A Carolina wren took up residence in the bird house hanging from the tree, so any time the squirrel tried to pilfer some plums, she was out to chase him away from her nest. (She's fierce.) By the time the Shiro plums turned from green to light yellow, the squirrel stopped trying, and the wren babies fledged. Perfect timing for me to harvest them as they turn a deeper hue of yellow.

The Satsuma plums followed about a week and half later, and these stay a bit more firm than the Shiros, which get juicier as they ripen. 

Shiro plums with nasturtium blossoms.

Let's get baking

So what to make with all these plums? A few years back I came up with a fruit-topped coffee cake, appropriately named Shiro Plum Coffee Cake. Of course, you can make jam and puff pastry desserts with the fruit, too.

Pro tip: Don't forget to get yourself a plum pitter — it saves lots of time as you prep your recipes!

Here are a few new recipes I've tried out this year, with great results:

Various steps in making Plum Crisp with Crunchy Oat Topping. 

Plum Crisp with Crunchy Oat Topping

This Taste of Home recipe uses tapioca to make the base with an oat top that softens as you store it in the fridge. Be sure to have a bowl for serving this one — it is extra juicy. Click here for the recipe.

Various steps in making Rustic Plum Biscuit Pie.

Rustic Plum Biscuit Pie

I made this dish in a deep casserole dish to bake. This pie features a cornmeal topping. (Delicious!) Recipe is from Natasha's Kitchen

Plum leather before the dehydrator and after (and cut into pieces).

Plum Leather (using the Mixed Berry Leather recipe as a source)

I substituted out the berries for Shiro plums in this recipe from the "Complete Dehydrator Cookbook" by Carole Cancler (Rockridge Press, 2020), and came up with a very tart fruit strip. (Maybe I'll keep some of the berries in there next time. 😉)  This took about 6 hours at 122 degrees Fahrenheit in my dehydrator. 

Do you have any favorite plum recipes? Feel free to share them in the comments section below. 

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*I purchased the two trees in 2012, and originally I really wanted a red Asian plum, so I special ordered Satsuma through the nearby garden center. This tree needed another for pollination, so I also ordered Shiro, a yellow Asian plum, as it's companion. What a great purchase these two turned out to be!


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