September 29, 2012 |
With dark blue, astringent skins, and dry, sour flesh, the ancient plums called damsons aren't good for eating fresh. When submitted to a process akin to alchemy, however, their tartness and spiciness are ideal for making preserves. Cooked down, the damson's astringency disappears, and its tannic skin imparts a gorgeous magenta color and rich, spicy flavor, while its abundant pectin confers a lusciously thick and smooth consistency. Originating in western Asia (supposedly near Damascus, whence its name)
July 16, 2013
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes Servings: 8 to 10 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) plus 3 tablespoons butter, divided 1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise 1/3 cup milk 1/2 cup brown sugar 6 to 8 ripe plums or 6 nectarines or peaches 1/2 cup sugar 1 egg 1 1/4 cups cake flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. 2. Cut one-fourth cup butter into pieces and add it to a small saucepan or skillet. Heat over medium heat until the butter browns but does not burn.
July 12, 2013
Luther Burbank was one of the most prolific plant breeders ever, responsible for developing the russet potato that bears his name as well as more than 800 varieties of fruits and vegetables. But while he is probably best remembered for that potato--it and its progeny are still the most widely planted varieties in the world--fruit lovers would argue that his crowning achievement was the Santa Rosa plum. Introduced in 1906, the Santa Rosa is still the gold standard for farmers market plum flavor, though it has fallen out of favor commercially.
May 7, 2011 |
Plums usually don't start until the end of May, but a few growers, mostly of Armenian origin, have started bringing green plums, which are unripe fruits the size of cherries. These are hard and sour, and would not appeal to most Americans, but they're much appreciated in the Mideast as the first fruits of spring and are eaten fresh, sometimes with a pinch of salt. Alan Asdoorian of Island Farms, from Kingsburg, says that his customers want only a certain variety with a distinctive taste and that if he runs out and tries to bring similar-looking immature fruits of standard varieties, like Friar or Simka, they wave their fingers and say " voch" — "no" in Armenian.
August 31, 1986 |
Deep, dusky, purplish blues. Rich, ripe reds. Golden-tinged greens. Tart and tangy, sweet and juicy, plums are the most diverse of all summer fruit. With more than 140 varieties now being grown, plums not only provide superb eating right out of hand, but also retain their distinctive qualities when combined with other ingredients and are well suited to any number of cooking techniques.
July 18, 2007 |
Peak season Santa Rosa plums: Luther Burbank did a lot more than just lend his name to a Southern California city. He was one of the most prolific plant breeders ever, responsible for developing the russet potato that bears his name (the Russet Burbank) as well as more than 800 varieties of fruit and vegetables.