Miraculously, just as the cherry trees were starting to look a little empty – I spotted a Cherry Plum tree that was laden with ripening fruit. I tried a couple, then quickly filled my empty sandwich box and headed back.
|My First Cherry Plums of 2011|
These beautiful little fruits are always simple to spot because people do not often bother to crop them at all, hence you tend to notice the fruity mess, squashed all over the pavement.
|Squashed Messy Fruit - Look Up!|
Cherry plums come in many colours and will differ likewise in taste but they will all cook nicely. I have seen Red, Yellow Purple and Green varieties, all of which taste great straight off the tree. It is easy to tell when they are ready for harvesting, as they will be falling of their own accord and should come off into your hand just by touching.
|Many Colours but all Plums|
|The Usual Suspects|
|Green Plums - Possibly Bullace|
These tasty hedgerow fruits can be eaten straight of the tree or made into Pies, Jam, Chutney, Cordial, Schnapps, Wine and a hundred other lovely things. Most recipes that I know do not include the stones, so you might as well take them out as soon as you get home, if you intend to cook with them.
|Red Cherry Plums|
You can then freeze the halves in the same way as I described for cherries. Of course, they will keep on the windowsill (as they are) for a while, if you just want to eat them as the fancy takes you.
|Pitted and Ready to Freeze|
It might be worth experimenting a little with drying these fruits – home made prunes anyone? Actually these things often taste a lot nicer than they sound.
I think it may be about time to get the child supported blanket out again and shake a tree or two this weekend.
|Another Loaded Tree Waiting to be Turned into Chutney, Jam or Pies|