HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Any great recipes for Italian plums?

We have a highly prolific Italian plum tree at our house. I've made fruit leather, plum crisp/cake etc. plus pitting and freezing some fruit. Any other great Italian plum recipes you swear by?

Thanks much!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. Last year I dried some (prunes), make spiced plum jam and a savory brown sauce.



      1. You can make a clafoutis with them - as well as jams, chutneys, and liqueurs.

        1. This is what I'm planning to make (along with some of that spiced plum jam of Jeri L's!)

          Plum & Cointreau Jam

          makes 6 cups

          4 lbs firm-ripe Italian plums
          2 cups water
          1/4 cup lemon juice
          3-1/2 cups sugar
          1/2 cup Cointreau

          Wash, pit and quarter plums. Bring to a boil in a preserving pan and cook at a fast simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. The plums will become very soft and begin to fall apart.

          Remove from heat, cool slightly, and fish out the plum peels, which will have separated from the pulp.

          Add lemon juice and sugar. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Cook jam at a brisk boil (spooning off any foam that rises), stirring often, until it passes the jelly test, about 15-20 minutes. Add Cointreau and cook 1 minute more.

          Remove from heat. Ladle into prepared canning jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

          EASY JELLY TEST: Place small plate in freezer to chill. Spoon some hot jam onto chilled plate and return to freezer for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from freezer and run your finger through the jam. If the jam doesn’t fill in the space left by your finger, it's done.

          1. Pflaumenkuchen--German plum tart. Prune plums on top of a yeasted dough. Great with coffe and whipped cream.

            Also, make prunes (as Jeri suggested).

            I'm envious--the warm spring, followed by a series of frosts and then a record drought obliterated the stone fruit crop in my area. Not a prune plum in sight at my farmers market, which disappoints me, as that is one of the joys of early autumn here.

            2 Replies
            1. re: nofunlatte

              I second the Pflaumenkuchen! I made it a couple of times this season.

              1. re: nofunlatte

                Here's my family's traditional recipe for Pflaumenkuchen. Ours calls for baking powder; I don't know whether that's an Austrian variation or not. But it's a wonderful treat, not cloyingly sweet, and works well with any stone fruit. A family favorite for several generations.

                small Italian plums or other fruit
                2 C. flour
                2 t. baking powder
                2 eggs
                2 egg yolks, beaten
                1 C. sugar
                1 stick butter
                1 t. fresh lemon juice

                Knead dough in bowl. Spread widely on greased cookie sheet.
                (If desired, brush with egg yolk here, before distributing fruit.)
                Slice fruit medium to thin widths; arrange on cake.
                Sprinkle with sugar before and after baking.

                1/2-3/4 hour

                NOTE: Watch it carefully, and take it out once the edges are golden, or it will overcook very quickly.

              2. I make a plum and cardamom cake out of In the Sweet Kitchen. It's one of absolute faves and I make it at least a few times in Italian plum season.
                +1 on clafoutis and jams. I made plum butter a couple of years back too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pavlova

                  Mmmmmm...you wouldn't happen to have that plum butter recipe to share, would you?

                2. I just roasted some last week to go with some guinea hen.
                  Halve and drizzle with olive oil, a little salt, some chopped thyme and into a 375F oven for 30-40 minutes. They go really well with most roasted meat.
                  I roasted them over grape leaves, since we were cooking near a vineyard, which added a nice quality but certainly isn't necessary.

                  1. The pie steams and bubbles in the paper grocery sack -so don't skip this step.

                    Purple Plum Pie (That Red Pie)
                    Use the silver dusted Italian plums- sometime called prune plums available in September. (I just saw them in the grocery story today.)
                    Unbaked 9” pie shell
                    4 cups sliced, pitted, purple plums
                    ½ sugar
                    ¼ cup flour
                    ¼ teaspoon salt
                    ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
                    1 tablespoon lemon juice
                    Spicy topping
                    Remove the pits and cut plums into quarters. Combine with sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Turn into pie shell and sprinkle with lemon juice. Add spicy topping.
                    Place in a heavy brown grocery paper bag. Be sure the bag is big enough to fit the pie loosely. Fold over the open end twice to seal and fasten with paper clips. (I staple the bag shut.) Set on a baking sheet …make sure the bag doesn’t hang over anyplace...in a 425 oven and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let it rest for s few minutes. Be careful opening the bag…steam burns are bad. Partially cool to serve warm…or cold.

                    Spicy Topping
                    ½ cup flour
                    ½ cup sugar
                    ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
                    ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
                    ¼ cup butter
                    Combine dry ingredients and cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over plums, mounding crumbs up in the center of the pie.

                      1. I just got done making a batch of Spiced Plum Butter, It's adapted from a recipe from Gourmet, but I added the spices and tweaked a few other things (more lemon juice, added the zest, less cooking time--the original called for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, but I went 1-1/2 and I think it may be a little TOO thick!) It tastes WONDERFUL and the color is gorgeous. The downside: four pounds of plums made three little half-pint jars! Next time I'll just have to double it, I guess! :->

                        Spiced Plum Butter

                        adapted from Gourmet July 2001

                        makes 3 half-pint jars

                        1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
                        4 lbs. ripe plums (weight after pitting), pitted and cut into quarters
                        3 cups sugar
                        1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
                        zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped
                        1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                        3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
                        1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
                        1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

                        Freeze several small plates to use for testing butter.

                        Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot. Add pod and stir in plums, sugar, lemon juice, and zest. Slowly bring to a rolling boil over moderate heat (this will take about 15 minutes), stirring frequently. Continue to boil, uncovered, stirring frequently, until plums are tender and peels are starting to separate, about 15 minutes more.

                        Discard vanilla bean. Purée plums with liquid in small batches in food mill set over a bowl, fishing out and discarding the peels. Transfer purée to pot and simmer over low heat, stirring and scraping bottom of pan frequently, until very thick, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Add the spices in the last 15 minutes of cooking.

                        To test for doneness, drop a spoonful of plum butter on a chilled plate, then tilt; the mixture should not be runny but about as thick as jam, and there should be no liquid separating out and creating a rim around the edge.

                        Ladle plum butter into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at top. Seal jars and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

                        1. I'm Italian & cannot wait till these yummy jewels come to market. You guys inspired me to make something with part of the basketful I currently have. Found this: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/21/din.... Quick/easy/delicious, [pic below] although I will cut the candied ginger to 1 Tbs. as well as chopping more finely next time.

                          This next recipe is phenomenal as well as an impressive entree for guests. It does call for black plums, but I'm sure Italian prune plums would be a great sub, maybe using more of them and halving instead of quartering - excellent Asian flavor, make extra!