Get 'em while you can!

Every year around this time, French prune plums 
make a brief and glorious return to Farmers Markets but only for a limited time. 
With their concentrated sweetness and easy perishability 
they are usually only sold in their dried and preserved states. 
But now for a brief time, you may see them at the Farmers Market. 
And we are especially lucky that we can pick some 
from our French Plum tree in the Orchard!
our French plums ripe on the tree
You might also know these gems as Sugar Plums. 
"These plums are variously called French Prunes, French Plums, 
Sugar Plums, and the odd but apt, Undried Prunes.
(because these plums are the ones most often used to make prunes).
Whatever you call them, get them. These sweet stone fruits are not to be missed.  
They're smaller than typical plums, maybe the size of an elongated ping-pong ball, 
with a dusky skin of mottled purple and yellow. 
The flesh itself is a deep autumn gold." 
The are incredibly sweet and can have a brown sugar flavor,
not too sweet but certainly not tart. 
They also have a surprisingly firm texture. 
They're juicy, but not to the point that you have to eat them hovered over the sink.
photo by Steven Krause page 308 in
Plats du Jour: the girl & the fig's Journey Through the Seasons in Wine Country
Their texture makes them wonderful to eat
but also perfect to cook (hence the drying for prunes).
Our chefs like to use our French plums in a clafouti. 
These plums are frequently used for this—a baked French dessert 
using fruit arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. 
Did you know that the clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France 
and while black cherries were the traditional fruit used, 
there are numerous variations using other fruits including red cherries, 
plums, prunes, apples, cranberries or blackberries. 
Our specialty at the girl & the fig stars our French plums. 

Or, you could just cook these plums down and serve them over ice cream.

Just remember to enjoy them soon. And to extend your enjoyment of French plums, 

The short season for French plums reminds us that we are at the end of summer. 
Of course there is still time to enjoy the bounty of that season
even as we look ahead to the Autumn stars we will soon harvest. 
The beds planted with all the many Winter squash will soon take center stage 
on the table, replacing zucchini and lemon squash as inspiration in the kitchen.
Fall squash last year at the farm
But before that, while we are still picking summer fruit from the farm, 
it's great to know how we can extend our experience. Besides drying fruit like the plums, there other ways to preserve the bounty from the farm. 
Some of our recipes were recently featured in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

And the Huffington Post featured an interview with 
Executive Chef John Toulze talking about how easy it is to pickle vegetables. 

What summer fruit or vegetable are you still savoring these days?
And is there a favorite "end of summer" recipe you want to share?


  1. Thank you for this post! We have a prune plum tree in our backyard and I've been wondering how to make the most of these. We will be enjoying them now!

  2. Kathryn-Delighted to hear this! Enjoy your delicious and precious plums