16 Perfect Plum Recipes That Spotlight This Versatile Fruit

Photo: Ryan Liebe

Whether in sorbet or upside-down cake to pie, plums shine in desserts and baked goods, but they can also star in cocktails, salads, and with grilled meats. Check out our best plum recipes, which run the gamut of sweet and savory.

01 of 17
Linda Pugliese

The wonderful world of fresh plum recipes is not limited to desserts and jams. These thin-skinned and juicy stone fruits' flavors range from acidic to drippingly sweet, making plums a very versatile ingredient. When plum season, begins peaches are peaking and cherries are past. They ripen into fall, giving us plenty of time to play. The first harvest of plums to arrive at local markets usually belongs to Asian Prunus varieties, while European-origin plum varieties are in season later, towards the end of summer and into early fall. The most famous of the late-season plums are fresh prunes, distinctively oblong, dusky-skinned, and very sweet.

Hardy American plum hybrids span plum season. They are bred from Japanese or European trees crossed with native American plum species. Wild American plums grow across the United States and lend their extreme cold-hardiness to these hybrid trees. If you're lucky enough to forage your own feral plums, you can use them in any of our plum-centric recipes that follow.

Plums are as piquant in salads as they are succulent alongside summer's grilled meats. In salads they are ideal, providing crunch, juice, acid, and sugar. They love the heat of chiles and bounce off the fragrance of summer herbs like mint and basil. In entrées, plums complement strong grilled or smoky flavors. And we know how luscious they are in bakes: Their juices caramelizing and blending equally well into hot sauces and chilly sorbets. Whatever you do, don't forget drinks. Plum cocktails are a summer treat.

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Plum-Rose Sorbet

Jonathan Lovekin

As simple as it is elegant, this luscious sorbet balances rose water with fresh plums and the bright sourness of lemons. It's a gorgeous dessert in its own right, but feel free to whizz it up with a good dash of gin for a summer sipper!

03 of 17

Grilled Heritage Pork with Plums, Farro Verde, and Summer Herbs

Grilled Heritage Pork with Plums, Farro Verde, and Summer Herbs
Jake Stangel

Vivid salsa verde and sweet plums are a fragrant foil for the rich and smoky flavor of grilled, bone-in pork loin. It's the perfect main dish for summer.

04 of 17

Plum and Port Crostata


Dusky and purple, the late-season fresh prunes in this unique crostata are bathed in a port syrup that is finished with the surprising but welcome heat of chile.

05 of 17

Next-Level Plum Upside-Down Cake

plum cake with knife
Lennart Weibull

Energize your upside-down cake game with our Instagram-ready version, where shingled plum slices caramelize lusciously beneath their buttermilk-moist batter.

06 of 17

St-Germain, Gin, and Plum Cocktail

cocktails gin plum llillet cucumber

The light acid in thinly sliced plums is the necessary final touch in these glorious elderflower-inflected cocktails.

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Beet, Plum, and Ricotta Salad

Linda Pugliese

Snappy plums provide a crisp contrast with peppery arugula for silky beets and soft ricotta in this vibrantly beautiful salad, topped with pungent fresh basil and slathered with excellent olive oil.

08 of 17

Peach-Plum Jam

Christopher Testani

Making your own plum jam is a delicious way to bottle summer. We combine plums with skinned peaches to create these jars of sunshine.

09 of 17

Plum-and-Blackberry Cornmeal-Almond Crumb Bars

plum and blackberry cornmeal almond crumb bars
Kate Mathis

Oozing with the cooked juices of fresh prunes and blackberries, these snackable bars are nutty with toasted almond and crunchy with cornmeal.

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Blackberry-Plum Smash with Basil

Blackberry Plum Smash
Ren Fuller

This beautiful sip is bursting with summer's plums, blackberries, and basil straight from the garden. It's a seasonal sip that both kids and adults will love.

11 of 17

Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Plum Salad

Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Plum Salad

Sake and perfumed, easy-to-grow shiso are the Japanese-inspired ingredients that make this juicy plum salad an easy match for spicy grilled shrimp.

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Plum-and-Crème-Fraîche Pie

unsliced plum creme fraiche pie on a gray countertop
Mike Krautter

Top a tangy plum and crème fraîche pie with the buttery, sweet crumbs of streusel. Be sure to eat it while it's still warm, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream sliding from your spoon.

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No-Knead Plum Focaccia

plum focaccia
Marcus Nilsson

This easy, no-knead focaccia, spiked with fresh thyme, catches the syrupy juice of plums in its characteristic dimples. Serve with fresh chèvre or farmers cheese.

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Plums with Sparkling Wine, Black Pepper, and Tarragon

Ryan Liebe

Need a quick but elegant dessert? This one is ready as quickly as you can slice ripe plums and open a bottle of sparkling (or still) red wine. The strong scents of black pepper and tarragon (you can substitute basil) add complexity to this simple bowl of sophistication.

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Blackberry-Plum Mojitos

Marcus Nilsson

Combine fresh plums with blackberries, simple syrup, and basil a day before you need this mojito mixture—it will make the most of the fruits' drawn-out juices.

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Pâtes de Fruits

plum pates de fruits
Louise Hagger

Make your own Paris-patisserie-window-worthy chewy plum jellies with a homemade plum purée. They're simple and addictively chewy.

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Plum-Oatmeal Crisp


Any type of plums will shine in this easy dessert, so use your favorite or a combination of different plums if you have them.

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