Sorbet, chutney, cake and more great ideas for plums, now in season

Santa Rosa plums at the Santa Monica farmers market.
(Noelle Carter / Los Angeles Times)

What’s in season: Lightly fragrant and boasting a sweet-tart flavor, the Santa Rosa plum is often considered the gold standard when it comes to plums. Introduced to the public in 1906 by Luther Burbank, it’s just one of the more than 100 types of plums we can credit to the legendary plant breeder. The plums should be available through August at various stands as the fruit ripens at farms up the state. But there is a number of great plums out there, from the unassuming but sweet and flavorful Greengage to dark, oblong Italian prune plums, which make perfect baking fruit. Of course, you can also find a host of pluots, apriums and other plum hybrids as well as farmers continue to cross the fruit with apricots to come up with even more varieties. When selecting plums, don’t be put off by the white “bloom” on many fruits — the white dust collected on the outside of the skin. This shows that the plums have not been overhandled.

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What to cook: Faced with a bag of ripe plums, you’re easily forgiven if you sample a few — or the whole stash — on your way home from the market. For the fruits that make it home, slice them up and add to fresh salads or layer in parfaits. Bake plums into tender crisps, flaky galettes or bars to pack in lunches. Or turn them into a batch of tangy-sweet jam or preserves to top such items as toast and a scoop of your favorite ice cream.

What’s on the horizon: Apples, a sign that fall isn’t too far away, are just beginning to show up at select stands.


Twitter: @noellecarter