It cannot be said that all goodbyes are bitter, especially with the summer in between, when we see the last blows of some seasonal fruits. This is the case of the plum, to which we pay tribute today, but also of the peach, which is in its final weeks, and also of other sweet pleasures such as watermelon or melon.
Green, like claudia, but also yellow, red and black, the world of the plum is that of a juicy and fleshy fruit, perfect as a dessert or for pastries (including cakes, pastries, biscuits or jams) but also to be a garnish for first courses and main dishes.
It goes wonderfully with white meats of all kinds such as this caramelized chicken or this baked pork tenderloin to which it contributes freshness, a sweet spot and a lot of meatiness, and even game birds, of which we are already seeing some specimens, and even fish, as we show you with this recipe.
What is plum?
This rounded friend that we see in the markets comes from two different species of plum trees: the European (called Prunus domestica) and which has several subspecies, and the Japanese (Prunus salicina), a deciduous tree typical of temperate zones, and it belongs to the drupe family, that is, it is a fleshy fruit that protects a single inner seed.
Their seasons are given, depending on the variety and location, from May to September, offering rounded fruits that can be consumed both peeled and unpeeled.
If you have noticed its Latin root, you will see that shares family with other fruits of the genus prunus (which means ‘of the plum’) such as the peach (Prunus persica) and the apricot (Prunis armeniaca).
Origin and current cultivation
Like its close relatives, the plum also finds its origins between Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Anatolian Peninsula, which is currently occupied by Turkey, and which are also areas known for their production of peaches (hence the persica) and apricots (hence the Armenian).
It is estimated that the plum
it was domesticated began to be cultivated around 2,000 years ago in the mentioned regions, from which they reached Western Europe through the passage of Greeks and Romans, where the latter bequeathed us part of the name that today we use botanically to refer to this juicy and summer fruit.
The Mediterranean basin was thus the expander of this fruit, which from the Middle Ages conquered other European orchards, such as the French and the British, where it is a valued and famous product. also as an ornamental tree, and that later it also reached America, where it is easily found in California and Mexico.
At present, as usual in production issues, China is number one, exceeding seven million tons plums per year, followed far behind by countries such as Serbia, Romania and the United States, which fluctuate in quantities of almost half a million tons per year.
In Spain, which around 150,000 tons per year, the main producing regions are Extremadura (55% of the total), Andalusia (13%) and Murcia (8.4%).
Description and characteristics
Plums are rounded and soft fruits, with smooth and smooth skin, which can be thicker depending on the varieties, although it is edible in all cases. Caliber ranges between 35 and 55 millimeters and they usually have a diameter of about seven centimeters. By weight, depending on the variety, it is usual for them to move between 60 and 65 grams.
The color of its skin and its meat, regardless of the variety, are uniform and intense and the color of the skin should not necessarily correspond to that of the pulp.
It is also a mistake to consider sweethearts guided by sight, Since not necessarily a yellow or red plum will be sweeter than a green one, but rather the opposite.
The most common is that let’s classify them by their colors, the usual colors being green, red, yellow and black (which is more purplish or bluish), and not because of their varieties, but today we will try to approach both ways.
- Green: Plums of the Claudia variety form a subspecies called Italic. They are usually very sweet, aromatic and smaller than the rest of plums, so they are easily identifiable and are the most appropriate to consume fresh.
- Reds: They are less sweet than green ones, larger in size and the pulp is less firm but they are also suitable to be eaten fresh. Among the most notable varieties we find the metley, which are of a very striking violet color, and the laetitia, which are quite large in size.
The green plums of the Claudia variety are the sweetest and indicated to be consumed fresh. The black ones, the most versatile in the kitchen
- Yellow: They are the least sweet of the three mentioned so far and are characterized by the yellow of their skin, which is quite intense, and they are also quite firm in texture. There are exceptions of sweetness, being very sweet some varieties such as Golden Japan or TC Sun, very sweet and with a flavor similar to apricot.
- Blacks: Although they can be consumed fresh, they are the most suitable both for cooking and for preparing different desserts or for cooking because they are also very sweet, so it is convenient to measure the sugar that we add. They are not as juicy as the rest, although we find varieties that are, such as the président, of a large size and greenish flesh, which is usually used in pastry or the stanley, which is more acidic and green, not very juicy, so which is good in jams and preserves. Also black are the so-called Damascus plums (Prunus domestica insititia), very popular in the United Kingdom, where they are called damson.
How to choose and preserve plums
They should be chosen that are not bruised, beaten or with some defects in their skin. It’s normal that have a light matte powder on them, which is not a sign of imperfection, but quite the opposite.
To the touch they should be firm but not hard, yielding slightly to the pressure of the fingers. Only plums of the Claudia variety should be green. Otherwise, plums that are still immature or somewhat hard they can be left to ripen out of the fridge a few days, since it is a climacteric fruit that continues to ripen once it is collected from the tree.
It is convenient not to pile them up and keep them in a fruit bowl away from intense odors and a lot of light. If we are not going to consume them immediately, it is better to keep them in the fridge to stop excessive ripening, especially the more delicate the fruits are. In the case of using the fridge, it is always better to take them out a few minutes before being tasted.
As a good part of the plums that we buy will be used in pastries or in jams, there is not so much problem that your flesh suffers slightly in contact with the cold or that we buy them something more mature than the account.
Nutritional properties and benefits
Possibly when we talk about plums everyone has in mind its legendary laxative effects, either in juices or consumed fresh, and whose merit falls on the high content of dietary fiber (2.3g per 100 grams) and sorbitol of these fruits.
They also have a good presence of vitamins A and C, in addition to potassium and phosphorus, so they are good allies for bones and teeth. In addition, as a fruit, it provides a lot of water so has an important satiating action, that combines well with its diuretic and laxative capacity, being ideal to combat constipation or to deal with fluid retention.
Curiously, and although it may seem otherwise, prunes are more suitable to enhance these laxative effects than fresh ones because their nutrients – also their sugars – are more concentrated.
Our best recipes with plums
She is the queen of cakes, cakes and biscuits; It is also perfect to enter the world of jams and marmalades but also, and that is why we have it here today, it is ideal for dealing with our salty cuisine.
It provides sweet and acid touches, juiciness, freshness and also has the advantage of absorbing, thanks to its meatiness, the juices of other products very well, so it is full of flavor if we accompany it with a stew or a roast.
1. Baked pork tenderloin with claudian plums and citronella
We will start by preparing the marinade, for that in a large bowl we put the oil, 3 tablespoons of the total soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of the total maple syrup. Salt and pepper the mixture and add the citronella stems cut into pieces or, if necessary, the lime zest. We place the meat in this marinade, add the whole and peeled garlic cloves and we leave the meat in the bowl marinating for an hour and a half in the fridge.
When time passes we remove so that the marinade and the meat from the refrigerator are tempered and we preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a casserole that can later be baked, we brown the meat on all sides and reserve it, keeping the marinade on the other hand.
Once the meat is sealed we add the marinade, the rice vinegar and Let it reduce for five minutes over medium heat. We put everything in the oven and let it roast for ten minutes.
Meanwhile we cut the claudian plums in quarters and sauté them until soft in a pan with the melted butter, adding the rest of the maple syrup and the soy sauce and letting them cook for five minutes over a hot fire. When this time passes we add the lime juice and the mixture of five Chinese spices, salt and pepper and reserve the fruit garnish in the heat.
We remove the meat from the oven and carefully fillet it, keeping the initial shape of the sirloin piece, we return the meat to the cocotte and we bake again another five or ten minutes. Serve piping hot with the spiced claudian plums.
Direct link to the full recipe | Baked pork tenderloin with claudian plums and citronella
2. Chicken sandwich with mustard, goat cheese, plums and quince
- Ingredients for 2 people: 200g filleted chicken breast, 5g Dijon mustard, a pinch of garlic salt, half a teaspoon of honey, half a teaspoon of soy sauce, goat cheese spread, 10 prunes, quince paste, 4 slices of bread loaf and …