Green gage plums
Neighbors just offered us a treeful - is that a word? - of green gage plums (which, coincidentally I have been admiring and coveting for weeks - hooray!). They have a gorgeous, translucent, apricot color, but I haven't tasted them yet. I will definitely make jam and sorbet and crisp, but would love to hear others' plum recipes and ideas, especially thoughts on green gages which I am not familiar with.
Thanks everyone for the input! Our green gages are very, very ripe and soft, unfortunately too ripe for the pie and tarts I'd hoped to make, but delicious. Sweet and fragrant yet bitter-tart at the skin. We didn't pick all but ended up with at least 25 pounds.
We've been eating lots (great with goat cheese - thanks Melanie), I made 14 - 1/2 pts of jam and will make more, have sorbet base cooling, will plan on ice cream, and I will probably puree and freeze the rest. I'm thinking of cooking some down for a plum paste to go with cheese but they may be too watery/not enough pectin at this point. Next year I'll have to get to them earlier...
I've never posted here before. Here's a recipe that I've never tried before but looks interesting.
Green Gage Frappe (Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook)
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsps lemon juice
Cook plums with water & sugar until tender. Rub through a coarse sieve; add salt & lemon juice. Freeze in refrigerator tray until firm. Scrape up thin layers of the mixture with an inverted spoon, then beat back & forth in the tray until texture is smooth. Serve at once. Serves 8.
There's another recipe for Green Gage Cream Sherbet in the same book, but it calls for canned green gage plums.
About 20 years ago in England I stayed with the family of a woman my father met during WW II. She was a wonderful cook (thus giving me a positive view of English cooking) and one of the things she made was a fabulous greengage plum pie. It was on the tart side, had a crust that most likely contained some lard, and was served with thick, heavy cream. She had not removed the pits (or pips, as she called them) because they were considered to improve the flavor, so the eating was slow and careful, but all the more to be savored.
I would think that you could use a standard fruit pie recipe to achieve similar results, or a crisp or cobbler would also be good. Personally, I would take the pits out (perhaps a few could be included in a cheesecloth bag for the flavor?). Creme fraiche or Mexican crema would make a good substitute for the wonderful heavy English cream.
You are so lucky, Green Gage plums are a pretty special variety, not readily available, at least not on the West Coast.
A little while back, Saveur magazine did a nice article on them, you might search their site.
I have some Green Gage plum jam in my fridge that is almost too special to eat!
Any fruit dessert application would be good; crostatas, fruit compote with cake and cream, plums with shortcakes or cobbler, ice cream, sliced with cheese and almonds, a garnish for duck...