My parents are blessed with several plum trees whose fruit all seem to ripen within a couple week period in the summer. When that happens? We’re raining plums. Every spare counter is filled with shallow trays and plums arranged in a single layer.
So naturally, we’re always looking to make good use of these plums! We have Elephant Heart, Santa Rosa, various pluots, and any interesting variety that my father has attempted to graft to one of the trees the previous winter.
For baking? The best plum is the Santa Rosa. That’s the one that’s red and sweet right under the skin, but yellow and tart as you get closer to the seed. It’s mostly a tart plum, which is perfect for baking because the tartness intensifies the flavor.
This is one of our favorite recipes for making use of plums. It’s adapted from one we clipped from the Sacramento Bee years ago. It’s easy to put together, the hardest part is prepping the plums (you have to slice around the seeds, helps to use a paring knife).
The recipe calls for 3/4 cup of sugar to go with about 4 cups of sliced plums. I’ve cut it back to 1/2 a cup at times, which you can do if you like your cobbler rather tart.
Updated from the recipe archive, first posted 2005.
- 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (170 g plus 30 g) of white sugar (can reduce to 1/2 cup for a more tart cobbler)
- 4 cups of seeded and sliced fresh plums (Santa Rosa plums work best), 10-18 plums, depending on the size of the plums
- 2 Tbsp instant tapioca (or cornstarch)
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (110 g) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (50 g) butter
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
2 In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup white sugar, plums, instant tapioca, orange zest, and cinnamon. Place the fruit mixture in a 2-quart casserole.
3 In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter in with a fork, pastry blender, or your (clean) hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk and egg until just moistened (do not overmix).
4 Drop the batter in large spoonfuls onto the fruit mixture. Bake in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 35 minutes, until the cobbler topping is nicely browned and the filling is bubbly.
Serve with whipped cream (optional).